Ladakh, being a unique agro-climatic region of the world, bears a huge potential for niche crop production. However, the traditional agricultural practices have barely generated any surplus for the communities and rarely fulfil the complete food requirements of the people. Therefore, there was a need to explore avenues of income generation through value addition and fresh marketing networks. There was also a need to create a distinct Ladakhi brand of horticultural produce.
Fruit Processing and Marketing at LEDeG
A fruit processing unit has been established at the Ribook centre of LEDeG at Leh. The raw material procured from the various SHGs is processed using scientific machinery, packaged in glass bottles and attractively labelled. Processing of apricots to make jams and jellies is also carried out at the village le
Presently, the processed products of Apricot and Sea-Buckthorn are marketed in Leh and Dharmshala (H.P) markets through a distribution channel, comprising of SHGs, LEDeG, Wholesalers and Retailers directly.
vel by SHGs. Training, for various types of fruit processing, is conducted by LEDeG’s Agriculture Team for SHGs as well.
Presently, two horticultural crops namely Apricot and Sea-Buckthorn (wild as well as cultivated) are marketed through conventional marketing channels where growers are exploited to a greater extent. LEDeG’s Agriculture Team, therefore, has been engaged in value addition of these two crops at the SHG level, by making jam, jelly and juices followed by improved packaging and marketing. Additionally, Natural Halman, Sulphurised Halman, Osmotic Apricot and Apricot Oil are some of the other products produced by women SHGs and marketed by LEDeG.