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Garo Hills witnesses Terra Madre pre-event

TURA: The Garo Hills pre-event to the International Terra Madre Festival was held at Ballonggre village on the outskirts of Tura on Saturday evening, where the six host villages of the international festival displayed the indigenous food items.
Twelve delegates along with 18 chefs from the six host villages from Garo Hills will participate in the International Terra Madre Festival to be held from November 3 to 7.
Speaking to the delegates and chefs at the pre-event, Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Pravin Bakshi said that they should take full advantage of the opportunity and display the unique culture and food habits of Garo hills at the international platform.
“Through this festival, we can display our food, culture, dance and music to the rest of the world,” he added.
Earlier, the delegates and chefs were given instructions on display techniques of their food products by Gunme R. Marak, who is a custodian farmer of Ballonggre, while the District Horticulture Officer, South West Garo Hills, Veronica Marak and other representatives from Agriculture and Horticulture departments gave them the insight to the upcoming festival and the role of the chefs and the delegates. Gunme Marak stressed the need to appreciate “our roots and cultural practices” and encouraged the villagers to share their skills and indigenous cuisine and pass them on to generations.  Marak is promoting tourism based on agro-biodiversity and runs a farm stay in the outskirt of Tura.
“Meghalaya can take the best advantage of the festival to showcase Garo hills and rest of the state to the world to attract international visitors. Community tourism linked with agro-biodiversity will definitely promote and encourage visitors to this part of the world, which is yet to be discovered globally,” she said.
The Agriculture and Horticulture departments are motivating and educating the farmers from across Garo hills on the relevance of the crops.
“Our attempt is to tell the farmers to speak to the global community about our indigenous crops and its varied uses other than food,” said District Horticulture Officer, Veronica Marak, during the pre-event.
Assistant Director, Agriculture, Merril Marak and Fr. Abong Marak were among others who spoke on the occasion, while Dharmen Marak, the lone representative from Garo Hills during the first International Terra Madre Festival held in Italy, shared his experience with the delegates.

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