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SRIJAN – spearheading Custard Apple processing

Non-Timber Forest Produces (NTFPs) play an important role in supporting rural livelihoods and food security. It’s established that a significant number of rural, tribal and forest dependent communities derive a significant part of their income from NTFPs. One of the most abundant NTFP in the country is Custard Apple. It is found abundantly in many states of India. It is highly perishable and in absence of appropriate value chain intervention, value addition, infrastructure and market availability, its potential and real benefits weren’t fully realized by aggregators.

SRIJAN, being one of the pioneers in developing and implementing large scale innovative and sustainable livelihood models for rural poor families, has started to work on addressing challenges of custard apple value chain in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan nearly 6 year back in 2013. This livelihood model is in-built with practical and easy solutions, thus it emerged as a successful and replicable model.

This year, SRIJAN is spearheading Custard Apple processing in 4 states through Community Institutions. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. Lab-borne innovative pulp-freezing technology matching custard apple aggregation in tribal regions of the country is spreading fast to many areas. Farmer producer organisations promoted by SRIJAN, other #CSOs and #StateRuralLivelihoodMissions are procuring custard apples through unique fair-price mechanisms, process fruits with industry standards and market the frozen pulp to India's best ice-cream companies and food caterers.

As a partner, SRIJAN is providing Tecno-managerial support to SERP, Telangana in 3 processing units in Narayanapet district and Umed-Maharashtra-SRLM in 3 districts viz, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli and Beed. SRIJAN has helped more than 25,000 tribal families through this unique livelihood model around Non Timber Forest Produces like Custard Apple, Jamun, Palash Gum, Chironji (Buchanaia Lanza, Cuddapah Almond, Almondette) and Amchoor (Dry Mango).

Through a small window of 45 days, women from tribal areas are able to procure more than 200 MT of Custard Apple fruits and process them into 40 MT high quality pulp.The initiative promotes sustainable livelihood of tribal and rural communities and also take care of conservation of forest and ecological balance.

Please contact Shri. Mohd. Zahid (mohdzahid@srijanindia.org) who looks after the entire operation at SRIJAN if you are interested.