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A story of Garo village enterprise – produces its own juice brand Chengga

By EMN Updated: Nov 17, 2014 10:40 pm

Newmai News Network
SHILLONG, November 17

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n an inspiring story of innovation within the Garo Hills region, a remote village in West Garo Hills (WGH), Rangmangre used the rich fruit diversity within the region to produce juice under its own brand ‘Chengga’ and bring about change in the lives of the people of the village.
Taking advantage of the rich variety of seasonal fruits and wild berries, the village since 2010 has been producing juices which have become the rage not only within the WGH district but also within the various markets of Garo Hills.The villagers of Rangmangre about 50 kms from the town of Tura, under Gambegre development block conceptualized the idea of producing the juice in 2010. The village consists of 55 households and borders Bangkadesh. The project was conceptualized under the Ministry of DoNER’s North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for Upland Areas (NERCOMP).
The idea was first mooted by a member of Natural Resource Management Group (NaRM-G), Rozillar M. Marak during its group meeting for production of juice.
“We have a vast area under orange and pineapple cultivation. We felt that if we could start processing juices, it will be viable and mooted the idea to NERCOMP. They provided us the technical assistance and we started the juice processing unit”, said Marak. The unit is a small one run by NaRM-G and women Self Help Group (SHG) in the village. The village produces about 1500 litres of juices every month.
“In different seasons, we produce different varieties. The juices are made from available fruits in the village. We also produce juice out of wild berries, like mulberry,” he added.
Marak explained that juice of Indian gooseberries is a hot favourite in the market, as it has medicinal value. “Over the years, we have been able to reach out to almost all markets of Garo hills,” he quipped.
The NaRM-G of Rangmangre manages a sustained income by selling the juices in the local market. A 500 ml bottle of juice is priced at Rs. 100 in the local market.
Though the management of the juice production is handled by NaRM-G, the women SHGs makes an extra income by selling the juice. “We get Rs. 20 as commission on sale of each bottle,” said a member of a woman SHG.
The juice processing unit has given the villagers a reason to smile. It is their sheer willingness, which has given them a space of their own and pride in their produce. Their brand is also being promoted and marketed by NERCORMP as ‘Neat Chengga Juice’, which is now going beyond Garo Hills, something which in the coming days is sure to bring more laurels to the village and promote brand Meghalaya to the world.

By EMN Updated: Nov 17, 2014 10:40:34 pm