It will be a Mango Festival with a twist, as the state-controlled Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) opens the event to an agricultural exhibition, giving light to climatic issues affecting agriculture.
The festival was officially launched last Friday at the National Stadium, approximately two weeks before the hosting of the event.
CEO of the MNIB, Ruel Edwards addressed the launch and explained that the MNIB will be giving light to all their stakeholders and the festival but specific attention will be given to farmers through the agricultural exhibition.
According to Edwards, the MNIB has a broader interest in the agricultural industry, noting that every aspect of it affects daily living.
“The Mango Festival is going to happen but we’ll also have the agricultural exhibition part of it that is going to speak to climatic issues. What are the things that affect climate change, that are going to speak to financing for agriculture, how can we put money into the agricultural sector…that are going to speak to pests and diseases that affect climate change. It’s going to speak to coastal management issues. For example, the Lion fish that affects the reefs and affects our fish stock, it’s going to speak to other agro-processed items outside of mangoes”, he said.
“…While we’re using mango as the theme and mango as the centre of produce, there are many other produce to which we trade. There are many other agro-processed items that are available, that we want our Grenadian public to be exposed to. There are many other juices and blends that are outside mangoes that we want to be exposed to. There are many different packaging that we feel would go on regional trade missions and explaining the things that we have here in Grenada, that people are beginning to take notice of the different things that are available in Grenada,” he added.
Sponsors are helping MNIB to meet the cost running in excess of $50,000.00 to host the festival.
Two of the companies supporting the festival, Summer Juices and the Public Service Co-operative Credit Union (PSCCU) were on hand to witness the launch.
According to co-owner of Summer Juices, Stephanie Ryan, she is “really thrilled that it’s (festival) going to be really focusing on good agricultural practices that are important if we wanna export”.
“I also hope that there is going to be mango eating contest like last year. We use mango in several of our products…mango, passion fruit and also mango ginger. We’ve purchased over 100,000 pounds of mangoes so far, so we’re really proud of that. It’s actually going to be a key ingredient in our new mango rum drink,” she said.
“We fully endorse this initiative. It’s a very important initiative. It aids small vendors and small business owners to come and showcase their produce, something they may not ordinarily have the opportunity to do. So we are really happy that the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) has taken on this initiative to help smaller business owners who would like to showcase their talents,” added PSCCU representative, Edward Francis.
The festival will be a whole day event at the Stadium for which the MNIB is expecting 6,000 people to be in attendance.
The board’s Business Development Manager, Roderick St Clair said that part of the activities planned will be a produce and meat market for persons to “buy all your fresh produce, your meats and so on, have your breakfast and go back home”.
“You would have exhibition and sale on mangoes and so on and other agr products as we had in the past. “As usual we would have the bouncy castle, mango eating competition, face painting and that innovative game we brought in last year, mango bingo, that will be on in full but we also have some new games,” said St. Clair.
The MNIB’s Mango Festival and Agricultural Exhibition will be held on July 29 from 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. at the National Stadium while the Carriacou version of the festival will be on July 22.