Co-operative fruit processing unit makes headway

Coorg Fruit Products have been considered as prestige in the cooperative sector of Kodagu district. The unit is situated at Gonikoppa in South Kodagu.

Kodagu District Orange Growers Co-operative Society has also recovered from the loss, said President Arun Machaiah. The unit was started to provide value addition and stability to the oranges in Kodagu. The unit was started in 1970. In the beginning, the oranges were purchased from the growers and the juice was prepared. However, later, the unit began to slow down owing to the shortage of supply of oranges. In fact, the unit remained closed for 13 years. Now the Coorg Fruit Products has recovered. They do not depend on oranges alone for preparing juice. The cucumbers from Hassan, mangoes from Kolar, pineapples from Sirsi, tomotoes from Bangalore and Hassan are also processed in the unit. About 30 per cent of the products include squash prepared from pineapple, grapes, lemon, mangoes, lemon and mango pickle, mixed fruit, pineapple jam, processed cucumber, chilly and baby corn. The unit has different machines for processing fruits. In fact, CFTRI, Mysore, had provided assistance to the unit.

Hundreds of women work in the unit. The capacity of the unit is 10 tonne. The unit works in one shift for 100 days in a year. However, the work is less during monsoon. Besides oranges, pineapples and lemons are being purchased from the locals.  About half of the orange squash is being sold in the district itself. Pineapples are available from December to May. Mangoes are available between April-May.

The unit has also contacted Ponnampet Forest College, Krishi Vijnana Centre of Gonikoppa and Bangalore Agriculture University with regard to the processing of jackfruit and preparation of chips and happala. The unit also plans to process palm oil as there are several palm growers in the district and the palm oil processing units are situated at Kabini and Nanjangudu.

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