The monsoon showers have set a perfect stage for the much-anticipated Jackfruit Festival to be held on 22nd June 2024, from 3 pm to 6 pm, at the Goa Pharmacy College in Panaji, the all accessible,  indoor venue. The vibrant Ponsachem Fest, is an initiative of renowned festakar Marius Fernandes, informed a press release.

This community-driven event celebrates the season’s bounty with a commitment to zero waste and inclusivity.

The Jackfruit Festival highlights the growing popularity of the world’s largest fruit, especially among vegans, who are drawn to its superfood status. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own crockery to minimise plastic waste, reinforcing the festival’s eco-friendly ethos.

‘Balcaoacho Gozalli’ with horticulturalist Miguel Braganza in conversation with senior journalist Prakash Kamat about jackfruit as the food of the future and journalist Nicole Suarez in conversation with Dr. Gwendolyn de Ornelas about the essence, history and legacy of Festakar Marius Fernandes ‘ festivals.

Dr. Glenis Mendonca, Goan artist and musician will provide the Live Music on her guitar along with other budding singers. Percussionist Bryan Fernandes and local artists will participate in a Ghumot circle.

Goa’s Ghumot is being featured in a new album by British award winning composer Kuljit Bhamre’s  (Namaste Bombay) with the song “Goa Beach” and will be released on the 28th of June  2024 on YouTube, Apple music and Spotify.

Home-cooked Goan food and a variety of products from grassroot locals will be sold by over 20 vendors at the fest promising you of authenticity. A unique jackfruit pudde, a savory Goan dessert workshop will be conducted by Chef Maria Dias.

Marius Fernandes, curator of the 84th People’s Festival on the 24th World Goa Day, expressed his excitement, stating, “I am thrilled to curate the Jackfruit Festival. This vibrant celebration of São Joao festivities embraces accessibility and inclusion for all communities. The event showcases Goa’s rich heritage, music, and arts through the world’s largest fruit. Join us in honouring the spirit of togetherness and cultural pride that makes Goa truly special.”

Fernandes highlighted the importance of jackfruit in modern diets, noting, “Jackfruit is increasingly being hailed as the food of the future due to its versatility, sustainability and nutritional benefits. It’s fibrous texture and neutral taste allow it to mimic meat in various dishes, appealing to the growing demand for plant-based proteins. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, jackfruit also offers significant health benefits, including boosting immunity and aiding digestion. It has the potential to address food security and support sustainable agriculture.”

In a bid to promote inclusiveness, the festival will offer differently-abled vendors the opportunity to market their products. Veteran journalist Prakash Kamat, a member of the State Advisory Board on Disability, commented, “Like all his recent fests, this Ponsachem Fest is inclusive. We invite the community to participate in the fest.”

Attendees are encouraged to dress in colourful attire and wear kopels in true São Joao spirit, adding to the festive atmosphere.


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