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EVENTS

250+ stalls, Amhi Shetkari and Annadaata highlights at Chikoo festival
Saturday, 12 January, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
With more number of stalls and new segments as attractions, the seventh edition of Chikoo Festival, initiated by the MTDC and organised by Rural Entrepreneurs Welfare Foundation (REWF), will be held between February 2 and 3, 2019, at S R Save Camping Ground, Bordi Beach, Dahanu, near Mumbai.

While last year, there were about 175 stalls, this year the festival is expected to include more than 250 stalls. REWF consists of a group of well-educated and settled entrepreneurs from the area, committed to bring the region up and create opportunities for locals. The Chikoo Festival is one of the many initiatives they line up throughout the year.

This year, the festival will include Amhi Shetkari wherein farmers will showcase local produce and Annadaata, a dedicated food section.

The festival will also conduct two master chef classes. On February 2, celebrity chef Smita Hegde Deo will host the class by giving specially curated chikoo pickle recipe using local ingredients and on February 3, restaurateur and chef from London, Asma will conduct a masterclass on local cuisine with a new take on local ingredients.

Speaking about the festival, Amol Patil, president, REWF, said, "With Chikoo Festival we want to highlight everything Bordi has to offer right from farm products to art and craft and other historic places around it. With this festival, we also want to provide boost to agriculture base processing industries like fruit and vegetable processing in the region."

He added, "Apart from being a place to source organic produce for the visitors, the stalls are also aimed at enabling the local farmers to explore opportunities and scale their business."

Sudhir Patil, president, Maharashtra Tour Organiser's Association (MTOA), informed, "The festival not only supports local farmers but also helps women entrepreneurs from the area. Chikoo fruit is a major source of revenue in this region, and this festival celebrates the same while combining other elements. Last year, the festival saw a footfall of over a lakh in two days and generated revenues worth more than a crore."

He further stated, "Number of hotels and resorts are coming up in the region, giving more opportunity to locals to grow by providing recipes of their local dishes to the tourists."

Rajeev Churi, president, North Konkan Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture (NKCCA), mentioned, "The festival promotes the locals open up their skills in agriculture, food processing, arts etc. However, still there is a lack of regulatory and statutory understanding. Packaging is another area wherein the locals are lacking skills in how to extend the shelf life of the products using new packaging techniques like nitrogen or vacuum packaging. Also pricing and barcoding knowledge is lacking."

Some other attractions of the festival include workshop/activity area on Warli painting and paper bag making, old-school games, pottery classes and sand art on the beach.

The festival will also exhibit Maharashtra’s rich folklore and will be entertaining the guests throughout the day during the festival with native koli dance, lavani, folk music, dhol dance, tarpa, mardani khel and other dances and songs of Maharashtra.
 
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