Food Processing Enterprise
Organic Spices unit
The organic spices units in Seloo and Girad villages prepare 35 varieties of unadulterated organic spices. The raw spices are obtained from organic farmers of Seloo, Samudrapur, and Yavatmal blocks.
Rosella Product Unit
During MSS campaign against the multinational soft drinks, MSS started selling drinks made from locally available flowers and fruits like Ambadi pods, Palash flowers, Bel fruit, Lemon, Orange, Gooseberry, Mango, etc.
As the demand for the fresh drink made from Rosella increased, for the first time in the Wardha district Rosella Product unit was set up. The Rosella unit utilizes Rosella for making beverages, pickles, bar and jam on commercial scale. The Rosella products are rich in micronutrients, anti-oxidants, and have medicinal properties.
Pickle & Jam Unit
During peak season the perishable fruits and vegetables are sold by farmers at throwaway prices and due to a lack of appropriate storage facilities, a large amount gets wasted. These Pickle and Jam units help local farmers to get better prices for seasonal fruits and vegetables. These units process locally grown perishable fruits and vegetables like Mango, Guava, Banana, Papaya, Lemon, Tomato, Brinjal, Bitter gourd, Chilly, Suran, etc. and makes value-added products like pickles and jams.
Indigenous Food Products
Traditionally, during the summer months, rural women prepared many indigenous healthy preparations that lasted the whole year. As the process of making these preparations is tedious and time-consuming therefore gradually this practice started fading. MSS set up enterprises to revive the traditional preparations of healthy food products. Presently four indigenous food product units prepare indigenous verities of papad, nuggets, chutney, noodles, dried vegetables, flours etc. The raw materials for these units are procured from 20 surrounding villages.
Solar Drier Food Products
A major intervention in the food-processing unit is the use of Solar Drier for the production of fruit bars.
The Solar Food Product unit specializes in making mango, tamarind, ber, and Rosella fruit bars. The unit sells solar dried spices like garlic, chilli, ginger, mango and vegetables like onion, bitter gourd, and tomato.
As the ready to make and ready to eat snacks of big companies entered the rural market there was a sudden shift in food habits and, in place of the age-old healthy nutritious homemade breakfast (made of local millets), rural households started buying low-cost bakery products, snacks, and noodles made by branded companies. To substitute these unhealthy snacks a rural Bakery unit was set up in Yelakeli Village. The bakery makes healthy bakery items from whole wheat and millets instead of refined flour and uses organic brown sugar in place of refined sugar.
Organic Gud Unit
To overcome iron deficiency, dehydration, weakness and dust-related problems MSS propagates the use of ‘Gud’ or (Jaggery). MSS also holds women’s health camps to encourage rural households to include healthy Gud in their diet and substitute the harmful white sugar with healthy Gud. The MSS Organic Gud unit in Yelakeli village uses organic Sugar Cane to produce good quality, low cost, iron-rich, nutritious Gud.
Edible Oil Unit
To meet the demand for edible oil, India imports 70% GM Soya, Palm, and GM Canola Oil and sells it at heavily subsidized rates to Indian consumers. To keep the local edible oil rates down the Indian Government permits the industrial oil units to mix up 30% (harmful) imported oils.
A decade back 80% of rural households of the Vidarbha region that consumed Flax Seed oil has shifted to soybean oil. To counter this, MSS is leading the ‘Tel Swaraj’ movement. The movement is to bring awareness in consumers regarding the hazardous of unhealthy imported oils and requesting them to revert back to healthy, fresh, locally made Flaxseed and Groundnut oils.
MSS is also organizing a signature campaign to protest against the Government’s policy of closing down decentralized Gandhi’s Ghani (Wooden oil expeller).
MSS has set up three cold press oil units in Kopra, Girad and Wardha villages (Maharashtra). Apart from fresh, healthy and nutritious Flax Seed, Groundnut, Sesame, Mustard, and Coconut oils, these units sell good quality oil cakes, containing 20 to 30 % oil as cattle feed to farmers. These oil units also serve as service centres where, at a very nominal rate, the farmers can process their oil seeds.
MSS is leading a campaign in Samudrapur block to revive the cultivation of Flaxseed. The campaign has led to an increase in the number of farmers growing Flaxseed from 5 to 100.