A viable and replicable Technology Package and Rural Enterprise Model developed by CTD for Fruit & Vegetable processing (including Spices and edible Forest Produce) has been widely disseminated and adopted by national and international agencies. The innovation here lies more in the organization of production and the enterprise model than in the equipment/machinery, while many products and processes are indeed novel. The Model is for year-round hub-and-spoke network of enterprises processing Fruits & Vegetables close to source of raw materials, making FSSAI-compliant branded products to suit local and non-local markets. The Model contributes to solving the problems of enormous wastage of horticultural produce (over 30%) and distress sales by small growers comprising over 65% of horticulturists.
The ‘Mother’ Unit with a roughly Block-level catchment of 50+ Villages and networking 200 or so small producers, would provide roughly 8-10 full-time jobs and 40-50 seasonal jobs mostly for Women. The Unit obtains raw and/or semi-processed produce from ‘Satellite’ Units covering a few Villages each.
CTD’s commercial arm, Artisans Technologies, successfully runs such an operation in Dehradun District, making a wide range of products under the FARMERS Selection™ brand from sub-tropical and temperate produce available in the Doon Valley and surrounding hill areas, networking several SHGs and FPOs.
More than 80 products have been developed for produce from different parts of the country. Over 40 such Projects have been set up all over India supported by several Agencies.
Technology for processing of Mahua Flowers to yield FSSAI-compliant products such as ready-to-serve Drink, Squash, Jam, Chutney, Pickle etc has been developed through a separate Project supported by Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India. The innovation lies in first dehydrating the highly perishable mahua flowers, suitable preserving and storing them, and using this as raw material for further processing. Forest Departments and NGOs in different States have adopted the model.
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