Kamala Adhikari is the President of the Marpha SFACL, which is a women’s cooperative located in the Mustang district. This SFACL currently holds 535 small member farmers, with the majority of the members being women. Last year, with the help of loans from the Marpha SFACL, NACCFL’s support through various grants, and the financial contributions of Ms. Adhikari as well as 10 other member farmers, they were able to open their own fruit processing centre.
“With this new centre, we went from producing 1500 L of apricot juice to 5000 L,” said Adhikari.
Their work has been integral towards the success of Kisan Ko Poko with their vast variety of products.
“We are delivering apples, dried apples, apple/apricot juice and walnuts to the Kisan Ko Poko program,” Adhikari said. There are many health benefits with the products they are producing. Ms. Adhikari states, “We make juice, jam, jelly, dried fruits and pickles. We also produce apricot seed oil, which has been found to cure teeth and gum diseases.”
Now that they are able to produce greater quantities of their products with the help of the fruit processing centre, the Kisan Ko Poko program has helped these women reach a bigger market for their products.
“We used to only supply our products to 3 places: Pokhara, Beni and Baglung. Now that we are involved with Kisan Ko Poko, we are supplying to the Kathmandu Valley. Since the demand has become higher, we were able to hire more local people to help manufacture our juices. Kisan Ko Poko has increased demand for our juices, which has increased employment within the Marpha SFACL.”
Some Facts About Our Apricot
Apricot is packed in vitamin C! From the seed of apricots, Ms.Adhikari is able to produce oil, which can be used for for alleviating skin rashes and controlling hair loss.