Post Harvest Management of Custard Apple Enhanced livelihood of Tribals in Udaipur
Devla region of the Udaipur district is hilly, where tribal communities depend on forest produce for their livelihoods. The communities have been making a living by collecting and selling the minor forest produce including custard apple. It was observed that tribes collected custard apple fruits from the forests and marketed through middlemen. To help these communities to realize a better price, Vanwasi Forest and Agricultural Produce Cooperative Samiti, Devla was formed in 2009 and many Self Help Groups were also developed.
The production of fruits, on an average, was 20-25 truck loads in the entire region in one season. Due short shelf life, the fruits had to be sold fast thus fetching lower price. It was felt by the Samiti members that if proper post harvest management practices be introduced than the loss in the crop may be reduced and fruits can be sent to longer distances. The team of scientists of All Indian Coordinated Research Project of Applications of Plastics in Agriculture visited the area and consulted the officials of the Samiti to study the handling practices currently prevailing for the transportation of the custard apple and to suggest the appropriate handling mechanism for the custard apples.