Over 750 quintals of Mahua has been exported to UK
The current collection rate for Mahua flower is Rs 33 per kg
Annual Mahua flowers collection in the state accounts for 5 lakh quintal, worth Rs 170 crores
Target set for collection of 2000 quintal food grade Mahua flowers in the current year
Raipur:Over 5 lakh quintals of Mahua flowers worth about Rs 170 crores are collected annually in Chhattisgarh. These Mahua flowers are steadily gaining popularity not only in national markets but also in the international market due to its premium quality and use of latest technology.
According to the intention of the Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Forest and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Akbar, continuous efforts are being made to provide maximum benefits to the forest dwellers in the state from collection of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and its processing. In this line, a process has been developed by the Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation Limited to manufacture food grade Mahua flowers. This has been done to ensure that forest dwellers can get maximum income from the collection of Mahua flowers.
The collectors of Mahua flowers will now get Rs 50 per kg instead of Rs 33 per kg due to the advanced technology developed by the Federation. Similarly, the collectors are getting Rs 116 per kg for food grade Mahua obtained as a result of adopting advanced technology in minor forest produce collection and processing work.
It is worth mentioning that in the year 2022, advance tenders have been issued for sale, with a target of collecting 2000 quintals of food grade Mahua flowers. In the first phase, 1150 quintals of Mahua flowers were sold at the rate of Rs 116 per kg. Thus, food grade Mahuaflowers worth Rs 1.33 crore were sold in the first phase. Over 750 quintals have been purchased by a UK based private institution for production of a variety of Mahua products. Tender process is ongoing for sale under the second phase, which can be seen in the website of the Federation.
Principal Secretary (Forest) Manoj Pingua and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests RakeshChaturvedi informed that the state government has revised the minimum support price of Mahua flowers to Rs 33 per kg this year, which is Rs 3 per kg more from last year. The move aims to benefit collectors of Mahua flowers. At present, Mahua sanitizer is being manufactured at a Mahua-based processing center set up by the Federation in Jashpur. Similarly, a variety of Mahua products including ‘Ladoos‘, Juice, Cookies, Chocolate, Pickle and Jam are being manufactured at Mahua Processing Center Rajnandgaon and being sold under the ‘Chhattisgarh Herbals’ brand name.
Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation Limited Managing Director Sanjay Shukla said in this regard that the Federation has established a process to make Mahua flowers edible. As a part of this process, the collection of Mahua flowers is done by tying a collection net around the Mahua tree. The collected Mahua flowers will be procured by the Federation at the rate of Rs 10 per Kg (dry flowers at Rs 50 per kg). These freshly cleaned Mahua flowers will be dried in the solar tunnel near the Van Dhan Kendra. This process will help in soil and dust free storage of Mahuaflowers.
Mahua flowers are currently used here to make country liquor. Research work on the processing of Minor Forest Produce has been started by the Federation to reap its maximum benefits. With the assistance of CFTRI, Mysore, a technology has been developed for making new Mahuaproducts like Mahua Energy Bar and MahuaJaggery. A manufacturing unit for this will be set up soon in the Central Processing Unit in Patan area.