In Odisha’s Rayagada, the tribal community is making cakes from tamarind and selling it in the market, which is also earning them good profits. Which are easily found in the forests of Bisamtaktak and Kashipur blocks.
Manasi Gomanga, a tribal from Bisamaktak block in Rayagada district of Odisha, was earlier confined to cooking and taking care of her children, but ever since she started making cakes with tamarind, she takes pride in her work. “Ever since I started contributing to my family’s meager income by making tamarind cakes, I can see a new respect for myself in the eyes of my husband and kids. Our living conditions have improved and we are now able to earn every month. 4,000 to Rs 5,000,” Gomanga said.
Gomanga is among 600 women from Bisamaktak and Kashipur blocks in Rayagada district of Odisha who have been encouraged by the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) to earn a livelihood by using tamarind in abundance, both of which are located in the forests. is found in. “Tamarind trees are widely available in the district. Due to lack of right market, tribal people have to sell tamarind to middlemen and traders at throwaway prices. Hence, in 2021, we have organized systematic production of tamarind cakes. and to provide a market,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ORMAS in Raigad said.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ORMAS said that since the tribal women have been encouraged to participate in the ORMAS initiative, the production of tamarind has increased which has resulted in better income for the local residents. “Moreover, the increased production is met with higher demand due to market linkage. We have been able to reach markets both within and outside the state. We get orders for our tamarind cakes from several reputed food companies. We are also selling tamarind seeds to several pharmaceutical companies,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ORMAS said.
The ORMAS initiative to support tribal livelihoods began with the formation of 11 ‘Producer Groups’, comprising about 600 tribal women. Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ORMAS said, “ORMAS gave Rs 10,000 to each producer group. In addition, equipment worth Rs 100,000 was provided to each of these groups for capacity building to facilitate efficient production and packaging.”
The cost of tamarind seeds is Rs 12 per kg and that of tamarind cake weighing 500 grams is Rs 78, the official said. “During the tamarind season which extends from May to June, the tribal population collected a total of 156 metric tonnes of tamarind from the forests of Rayagada district and sold it to us at Rs 36 per kg, which is fixed by the state government minimum support price, Chief Executive Officer of Rayagada-based Dharti Producers Company said.
A few years back, tribals used to sell tamarind to middlemen and traders much below the MSP. Tribal women peel seeds from tamarind at our centre. We sell seedless tamarind at Rs 62 per kg. We are providing them also. Technical support for preparation of Tamarind Cake. A large number of tribal families are getting additional income due to the huge demand for tamarind cake and seeds. Tamarind seeds contain potassium which may be useful for patients suffering from high blood pressure and other heart diseases.
In addition, tamarind seed juice is known to be a natural remedy for curing indigestion and increasing the production of pitta. In addition, it is rich in dietary fiber, which results in a reduction in cholesterol. The red outer covering of tamarind seeds effectively cures diarrhea and dysentery. Tamarind seed extract also contains xyloglucan which is used in the commercial preparation of many cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are also used topically to treat minor skin rashes.
Story Credit: गांव कनेक्शन
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