MIRPURKHAS: All is set to hold three-day 53rd national mango and summer fruits festival starting today (Friday) at Sindh Horticulture Research Institute. It will continue till June 10.

According to the management committee of the festival, minister for agriculture would inaugurate the festival at 5.00pm after owners of mango orchards would get themselves registered with the committee.

On the second day, judging of mango varieties on the basis of quality would be held at 9.00am and seminar on mangoes would be organised at 10.00am at State Life building where experts would read papers on latest developments in techniques for improvement in mango crop. Mirpurkhas Commissioner Shafique Ahmed Mahesar would be chief guest at the seminar.

On the third day on June 10, interim chief minister would distribute prizes among winners and runners-up at the concluding ceremony at 4.00pm.

The festival will showcase several varieties of the fruit including Sindhri, Dasehri, Chonsa, Langra, Anwer Rattol, Neelum, Tota Pari, Gulab Khasa, Collector, Dilpasand, Began Phali, Desi, etc.

The management committee chairman, Mohammad Umer Bughio, said that acute shortage of water had seriously affected taste, colour and size of the fruit and drastically cut the production, causing a drop of 30 per cent this year as compared to last year’s.

He said the committee had made concerted efforts to make the festival a national level event where agriculturists would judge different varieties of mangoes and winning mango farms would be given cash prizes and shields.

He said that they had tried their best to convince as many growers to display their produce in the festival as possible and hoped that number of stalls in the festival would further increase. The awards would be given only on the basis of merit, he said.

He said that mango exporters as well as general public had been invited to visit the festival which also featured different sports competitions and Meena bazaar for the recreation of women and children

He said that a souvenir would also be distributed among participants on the concluding day at the prize distribution ceremony.

The objective of the festival was to encourage mango producers and educate them in the use of modern technology for making their crop exportable and maximizing their profits by earning precious foreign exchange for themselves and the country.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2018

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