Marketing ghee, bamboo as premium products

The Forest Department will launch an initiative for the benefit of local farmers in M.M.Hills-B.R.Hills belt to procure milk from Hallikar breed of cattle and manufacture ghee to be branded and sold as a premium product.

The project is set to commence from August 15 at Ponnachi and the objective is to enhance the income and economic conditions of the local farmers.

Deputy Conservator of Forests V. Yedukondalu told The Hindu that the Hallikar cattle was commonly found in the region and was more of a drought breed used for agriculture and ploughing and produced only a small quantity of milk.

“We intend to collate about 1,000 litres of Hallikar milk daily from the owners of the cattle who will participate in the project and process it into ghee,’’ said Mr. Yedukondalu.

The cattle will be fed only organic and natural fodder and the ghee will be stamp marked and branded as Hallikar ghee and sold at a premium through organic retails and online shops.

The project will also ensure that the drought cattle, which otherwise are sold to slaughter houses at throw-away prices, are retained by the farmers, said Mr. Yedukondalu. Talks have already been held with the local community and many farmers have evinced interest in the programme whose functioning will be akin to that of a cooperative society.

Bamboo mission

This is the second project to be taken by the Forest Department in the region to shore up the income generating capacity of the local community.

The authorities recently launched an initiative to provide livelihood options to the tribal communities, especially the womenfolk, under Bamboo Mission. This entailed handicraft manufacturing by local women using bamboo. “We procured bamboo from Kodagu but will take up bamboo plantation on a 200-hectare plot of land to ensure that there was a steady supply of raw materials that can be sourced locally’’, according to Mr. Yedukondalu.

A common facility for the manufacture of bamboo-based products is also being established at Ponnachi and is set to commence functioning in due course. An NGO, Industry Foundation, is involved in the project and the tribal women are being trained to make water bottles, table lamps, trivet of bamboo useful to place hot utensils etc.

The marketing of the bamboo products will also be through multi-brand malls and online retailers. If successful, this model will not only prevent migration for livelihood but also enhance the income of the local community, said Mr. Yedukondalu.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 6:46:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/marketing-ghee-bamboo-as-premium-products/article35510897.ece

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