Co – founder and Operator of Cice Delights, Dr. Saran King, will be one of the many vendors present at this year’s PineappleMangoFest (PiAngoFest) to be held on 17th and 18th August at Cades Bay Agricultural Station.
Dr. King operates from her home where she produces freshly hand- pressed local fruit juices, such as mango papaya, pineapple, passion fruit, ginger and much more and noted that the mango and pineapple drinks will definitely be available at the PiAngoFest.
Dr. King is a part of an Agro- processing group called Antigua and Barbuda Network for Rural Women Producers/ Processors . It is a non-profit organization which empowers women and help them own their skills in Agro- processing,
Women in this group produce products such as jams, jellies, sauces, local drinks, soaps, handmade jewelry and many of them will also be present at the PiAngoFest.
Dr. King said that she is looking forward to PiAngoFest to display her skills and learn more about the different types of local businesses on the island.
She added that she is also looking forward to see what others have done with the mango and pineapple whether it is in the form of craft or other culinary delights.
As a self-sufficient agro-processor, Dr. King said that she is faced with a number of challenges such as a lack of equipment and man power as the juices are all hand pressed and made from scratch.
Another challenge being faced at times is the lack of space/storage as agro- processors will have to store seasonal fruits.
In terms of support from the Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies, Dr. King stated that they have received a lot of assistance including the Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) with sourcing certain ingredients, products, equipment and training. She urged them to continue doing so in other areas as well.
Dr. King encouraged other agro- processors to keep up the good work and also advised more people to get into the field.
In highlighting the important role that agro-processors play, she noted that this group of workers helps to close the gap in the amount of local fruits that are wasted annually.
“As Agro -processors, we ensure that these fruits are not wasted, we see what resources we already have available and what skills we have and how we can incorporate the both of them into a business,” stated Dr. King.
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Way to go doc. PROUD OF YOU
Dem local jink too expensive. It’s not like they have to import the fruits, so why such a hefty price tag? well sah.
Buy Local, Support Local. All is well if the price is right. I commented on this already when the beekeepers claimed that we need to support them. I cannot for the life in me understand why a man.woman picks mango form their trees and sells them more expensive than imported fruits. I mean the tree bares every year no matter what you do. You do not need to water it or to prune it. Pineapple is another thing. Yes Antigua black is sweeter, but guess what I get a pineapple twice the size for the same money. And they taste fine. I understand economies of scale make that those imported are far cheaper, but come one, perhaps the government need to find away to subsidize the local producers and perhaps they need to come clean and show us how their price build-up is done. I have a feeling they just want to become millionaires overnight. I support local but not to the detriment of my pocket.
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