Working for technological empowerment and sustainable livelihoods at the grass root levels.
 
Selected Replicable Technology Models for Rural Application
Low-Cost Processing and Preservation of Horticultural Produce


Problem/Need Indian ranks first in the world, in terms of horticultural produce, with an annual production of over 102 million tones of fruits and vegetables. However, an estimated 30% of this goes waste since in the absence of facilities for preservation, the perishable fruits/vegetables are unable to reach the consumers in time. This is compounded by meagre utilization (less than 5%) by the fruit/vegetable processing industry. This may be compared to 30-70% utilization by processing industries in South-East Asian countries. Other factors for destruction of the produce are lack of efficient transportation and low prices to middlemen and contractors. These distress sales are all the more debilitating for small and marginal farmers who produce a larger proportion of fruits and vegetables. Thus, not only is a valuable source of nutrition wasted, but its producers face impoverishment and misery. On the other hand consumers are left at the mercy of avaricious wholesale dealers and the organized sector producing high–cost branded products. Though in recent years India has witnessed a shift towards the use of processed fruits and vegetables, there exists a vast and growing demand for such products, both at the rural and urban levels.

Approach/Strategy A technology package evolved by CTD to tackle this problem aims at setting up and operating economically viable and self-sustaining rural industries for processing of horticultural produce, as close to the source of raw materials as possible. Suitably descaled and adapted equipment and some innovative technologies are utilized for this purpose. A network of small producers is established from whom the raw produce is bought at remunerative prices. Processing is undertaken at different levels – home, satellite unit, nodal unit – mainly by women. Strict quality control is built into the system, with suitable legal standards being adopted. Packaging and marketing is undertaken centrally. Local markets are tapped for the sale of products to the maximum extent possible, thus obviating the need for transportation. The VO manages and coordinates all the activities from networking of growers to marketing the products, and also provides technical backup and support.


Range of Innovative Products like Apricot Juice

Technology Package To process and preserve the huge range of horticultural products available in the country, there exist diverse technologies, which have been standardized under field conditions. The exact choice will depend on the nature of raw produce available and its quantum. An illustrative list is being given below to indicate the various types.

Pulping/Juicing: This involves extraction of edible pulp and/or juice from the fruit, which can be used as such, or further processed, if required. For example, various products obtainable by pulping/juicing of some fruits are:

 

Product Profile (illustrative)  
Pulp/Juice/Jams and Jellies  
Produce Product
Tomato Pulp, Puree, Sauce/Ketchup
Apple Juice/Concentrate
Citrus fruits Squash/cordial
Fleshy fruits Pulp, Juice, Nectar
Guava Jelly
Dries/Osmo-dehydrated  
Produce Product
Onion Powder/Paste
Potato Chips
Garlic Powder/Paste
Ginger/Turmeric Powder
Mango Powder (amchur)
Mango/Jackfruit Leather
Apple Chips
Papaya/Pumpkin Candy
Fermentation
 
Produce Product
Mango, citrus fruits, vegetables like carrots, Jackfruit, Cauliflower, Bamboo shoot, etc. Pickles
Cabbage Sauerkraut (by lactic acid fermentation)
 
 
 

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