Shillong, July 26: NESFAS and SSC (Social Service Centre) Shillong Archdiocese organized a Mei-Ramew Farmers’ Market on Thursday at Savio Hall, Laitumkhrah Shillong. The market aims at promoting and generating awareness on indigenous food systems and its contribution towards nutrition. It is also a platform for consumers to access organically produced food items and varieties of wild edibles.
The stalls in the market included food stalls, Mei-Ramew Weaves stall, millet stall and many more. The market showcased and sold food products brought in from 7 villages whereby different farmer groups and individuals gained an opportunity to not only profit from sales but also share and exchange dialogue about the local variety of food products with the people of Shillong.
There was also a NESFAS kitchen that was handled by local young enthusiast cooks Siegfrid B Sangma, Nocy R Marak, and Teiskhem Lynrah. They are part of “NESFAS tastes and flavors network”. They prepared and showcased recipes which are the modern take on the locally available indigenous ingredients, vegetables, and resources.
Another highlight at the event was a stall called “Mid-day meal initiative” which prepared and presented proposed food items for the mid-day meals programme that is common for school children. NESFAS has been experimenting with rural community cooks of Nongtraw and Khweng to provide nutritious innovative meals to school children and encouraging children to eat more local, colorful and healthy foods.
Emdor Khymdeit, a farmer from Khweng, Ri-Bhoi shared: “This is my first time selling food products from our village in an urban setting. It has been a great experience and I would like to take part in such events in future.” Matrisha Nongspung, a young farmer, and teacher from Lamsain East Khasi Hills said, “I was also part of the last event – the Indigenous Food Fest that was held recently in Savio Hall. I am glad that I received this opportunity because I could bring and sell the wild edibles that are abundantly found in our area, and these plants are not easily sold in the rural markets.”