Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, India, under the aegis of International Centre for Underutilized Crops (ICUC), trained the officials of Bharathiya Agro-Industries Foundation (BAIF), a nongovernmental organization (NGO), on small scale processing and marketing of underutilized fruits in August 2004. As a result, small scale processing units were established at the community village level in the state of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat in India for processing of underutilized fruits like aonla, tamarind and jackfruit into different products. Later, a survey was undertaken to ascertain the processing and market potential of underutilized fruit products. The market survey in the Hassan district of Karanataka has indicated the presence of underutilized fruit products like citron pickles, tamarind paste and jackfruit chips, which are sold by the retailers in small quantities. The market survey of underutilized fruit products in Pune (Maharashtra) has indicated the trading of underutilized fruit products like aonla pickle, aonla squash, aonla supari and tamarind products like concentrate, pani puri masala in the market, though in small quantities. The market survey in the Dharmapur and Valsad markets, Gujarat has indicated the presence of underutilized fruit products like pachan aonla (digestive aonla), ber powder, salted ber and tamarind under different brand names like Oswal, Khelkar, Frootlet, etc. The share of the underutilized fruit products is small but these products have made their presence felt in the market. By and large, consumers have accepted the quality and price of the products of the small scale community processing unit. However, label needs improvement and is to be made more attractive. Thus, market research has helped in identifying the potential markets for the underutilized fruit products of the community level processing units. The institutional arrangements in the form of IIHR-BAIF have benefited the community at large and the women SHGs in particular.


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