Shillong (Meghalaya), Sept 21: Blending this season’s diversity, the Biskot and Sohiong Festival was today held at the All Saints Cathedral Hall here . Organised by the Directorate of Horticulture the fest aims to promote indigenous crops and medicinal fruits and also create awareness on the value addition that can be added to the crops.
If you have visited Shillong, it is very likely that you would have tasted Sohiong Jam and even bought a bottle to take back home. A tangy, rich purple fruit preserve that is available only once a year.
Sohiong (Prunus nepalensis) belongs to the Rosaceae family and is an important indigenous underutilized fruit of the NE region. It has great potential in the region due to its quality, unique colour and flavour.
It is found in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya and some parts of Manipur . Fruits are eaten as fresh, while fruit juice and pulp are used for preparation of various processed products like squash, jam, ready-to-serve beverage and wine.
The fruits appear are Rich purple, round berries which grow in bunches and its Leaf acts as a diuretic . The Zizira team rating in terms of taste and popularity 10.
Wine made from Sohiong is much like the wine made from grapes and is gaining in popularity.
Meghalaya Minister of Agriculture, Banteidor Lyngdoh gave away prizes to the winners of the best stall to the office of the District Horticulture Office, Mawkyrwat, South West Khasi Hills which bagged the first prize. The second prize went to the office of the District Horticulture Office, Nongstoin, West Khasi Hills and the third prize jointly went to the office of the District Horticulture Office, Jowai, West Jaintia Hills and office of the District Horticulture Office, Tura, West Garo Hills.
The winners of the best Entrepreneurs went to Kara Enterprise, Pohkseh, East Khasi Hills, Intergrated Vilage Co-operative Society Nongkasen, West Khasi Hills, Pyntngen Food Processing, Banium, East Khasi Hills, M/S Delicacies, Mawpram, Upling East Khasi Hills, Tyllui Kawie SHG, Laitskeh, West Khasi Hills, Peter & Son, Food Processing, Dirrang, South West Khasi Hillls, Mel’s Food Processing Unit, Mawlangwir, South West Khasi Hills and Smti Wannon Tang, Madam Kynsew, West Jainita Hills.
The Special Award of Recognition by the Jury went to the IHM, Shillong.
In the morning, the Meghalaya Chief Secretary, . Y Tsering inaugurated the Festival and inspected the stalls in the presence of the Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, K N. Kumar, Agriculture Secretary, Smti. M N Nampui, officers of the Directorate of Horticulture, farmers and entrepreneurs.
The main attractions of the day were workshops organised for farmers and the sale of a variety of Sohiong and Biskot inspired dishes, juices, jams, pickles etc. Earlier this year , the department organised the jack fruit festival which was a massive hit .