It is amazing how valuable one fruit can be… how one fruit is. As Jamaicans, we have all grown up with the proverbial ‘mango tree inna di yaad’. Rain or shine, the mango remains a constant staple in our past time. The trees are climbed, raided or even stoned all in an attempt to get the delicious gem of a fruit. They come in all shapes and sizes while the colours range from a luscious green, sunshine orange to mellow orange, tantalizing the senses with a promised treat for the taste buds. How does this cure hunger? Well, the Dallas Castle Mango Festival showed us the way.
Held in the cool hills of the Dallas Castle community, the mango festival boasted how mangoes can be used to create treats. Smoothies, jams, pies, sauces, cocktails, cakes, treats, spicy dressing, wines and even brandy were all on display. If you could think it – it was there. Vendors proudly displayed embodiments of their imaginations all under the delight of patrons from inside and outside the Dallas Castle – Constitution Hill environs. Dr. Knife, the mind behind the festival, had government agencies come on board such as the SDC, SRC, RADA and NHF to provide support in assisting entrepreneurs to develop and fund other ideas.
Facilitating business opportunities through product development as its core, the Scientific Research Council’s presence at this event was strategic. Through science and Technology, the SRC supports the growth and development of the agro-processing sector by offering a suite of services to entrepreneurs, encouraging their success in the marketplace. Services such as market research, nutritional labeling, product standardization and shelf-life studies amongst others are all available through the SRC.
The Hon. Juliet Holness reveled in the wares on display and spoke proudly of the community spirit and drive on display. Scores of kids frolicked, adults meandered through various booths and tasted just about everything on display; not even the sun could dampen spirits. Not to be left out, Riddim Blue Coffee and Comprehensive Eyewear were also in attendance offering free iced/brewed coffee and eye examinations. Bringing the day to a close, a 6-a-side football competition was organized.
A fantastic day. A fantastic concept just underscoring the notion that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. The mango – perhaps a cure for hunger.