BY ABIGAIL CRASTO
The Konkan Fruit Fest, presently underway in Panjim and now in its 17th edition in the last 20 years, has cemented its position as a pilgrimage for plant and fruit lovers from across the State.
The festival celebrates the fruit diversity of Goa and Konkan regions. This year, the Agricos Alumni Association and the Botanical Society of Goa have added many new dimensions to the event, making it a platform for everything under the sun when it comes to fruits and plants.
The event, partnered by the Corporation of the City of Panaji, will culminate tomorrow (April 23). The organisers are expecting the last day to be a full house at the Francisco Luis Gomes garden where the event is being hosted.
One can visit different types of stalls at the fest. The State Medicinal Plants Board Goa has displayed a wide range of medicinal plants and saplings.
ICAR has set up a stall showcasing major millets and products such as jowar, bajra, banana flour, jackfruit bulb powder, jackfruit pickle, papads, kasai herbal tea etc.
The Goa Directorate of Agriculture booth has laid out fruits such as pomelo, starfruit, different varieties of mangoes like kesar, red masurad, malgoa, malgesh, Tommy Atkins etc.
One can also find stalls comprising homemade and organic products like fresh fruit syrups, jams, nuts, pickles and other eatables.
There is a large selection of fruits and plants on display and sale. A variety of locally available fruits are exhibited -- be it bananas, jackfruits, rose apples, guavas, pineapples, kokum starfruit, soursop, jamuns, amlas, mangoes, cashews and much more.
Fruits have been labelled with their scientific names and their use in treating different illnesses. Showcasing such a wide variety of fruits can add to one’s knowledge and help one understand the richness of vegetation and the need to conserve it.
A wealth of choices is available to any plant lover from flowering plants, fruit trees, medicinal plants, herbs, ornamental plates, cacti etc. There are a couple of plant nurseries that are selling select and recommended varieties of high-quality saplings.
Different types of roses, orchids and hibiscus plants are on sale. One can also find plant accessories and organic compost that are being sold at affordable prices.
The venue of the fest is hosting several competitions, today and tomorrow. Some competitions are open to all, while some have age restrictions.
These competitions are an opportunity for plant enthusiasts and other participants to showcase their skills, plant knowledge and also celebrate their love for nature.