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Community / Land projects / Establishing Industrial Processing and Marketing of Beles-based Food Products for Increased Income in Rural Co

Establishing Industrial Processing and Marketing of Beles-based Food Products for Increased Income in Rural Co

€0

07/13 - 12/15

Completed

This project is part of

General

There is a great potential to better utilize prickly pear, #Beles# in Amharic (Opuntia Ficus-Indica L.) as a source for food and feed processing in the semiarid parts of Northern Ethiopia. The plant grows freely, the fruits are appreciated and the pads are used to feed cattle particularly in the dry periods. However, there is not much value addition activities being undertaken and #Beles# fruits spoil quickly, leading to huge losses in the harvest season and a complete lack of #Beles# in the market in the off season. The project will establish a processing center as a pilot plant in order to better make use of both #Beles# fruits and the pads. Different food and feed products with longer shelf life will be trialled and marketed, building on experience from other countries with a long tradition of processing #Beles#. The project will organize youth and women associations for collection, processing and marketing, providing poor communities with income generation activities and contributing to poverty alleviation. In addition to its income generation potential, the cactus also mitigates land degradation, and thus has the potential to combat the ongoing desertification in the region.