By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 9 Sep: An exhibition of Bedu (Himalayan fig) based products was organised by the Pithoragarh district administration and self-help groups at the Raj Bhavan here today. Governor Lt General Gurmit Singh (Retd) emphasised that efforts would have to be made to take Bedu products from local to global. He added that, for this, work would be required on packaging and branding of the products. Packaging of the products of needed to be of international class so that the demand could increase in the country and abroad. The Governor added it was a matter of pride for all that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned Bedu products being promoted by the district administration, Pithoragarh, in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ talk show, recently.
The Governor said Bedu products would have to be moved from the cooperative to corporate sector as that is an organised sector. Special attention needed to be paid to packaging, processing, labs and distribution and supply chain to take local products to the international market. Appreciating this effort of the district administration, he said it as an effective initiative in the direction of increasing employment. While this would provide employment opportunities to the local people, it would also improve the local economy. He advised that a lab also be set up in Pithoragarh for quality testing of the products. He asked the District Magistrate to prepare a roadmap taking it as a pilot project.
It may be recalled that Bedu is a fruit found in the hills of Uttarakhand, which is also called the Himalayan fig. At the initiative of the local administration, this fruit was now beginning to get special recognition at the world level. Products like jam, squash, chutney, juice, etc., are being made from Bedu by the women of Sudarshan Self Help Group at the initiative of DM, Pithoragarh, Dr Ashish Chauhan.
DM Chauhan disclosed that 500 kg of Bedu products were prepared this year, and now the target is to increase it to 250 to 300 quintals by next year. He said that online marketing is being done in collaboration with HILANS and its demand is also coming from many states.
Present on this occasion were District Panchayat President, Pithoragarh, Deepika Bora, Processing Specialist Kavinder Singh Chauhan, team leader Kuldeep Bisht, Sudarshan, Aajeevika Sanstha’s Shikha Thapa, Rekha Khadayat, Chandra Arya and women associated with the organisation were present.