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This program was organized by CIAH to enhance the awareness about the emerging employment opportunities in the sector of processed products from arid horticultural crops. This program was conducted on 4th May, 2023 for 30 rural farm women from three villages of Bikaner. Dr. Vimala Dhunkwal, Professor, SKRAU was invited as special guest and Dr Jagadish Rane, Director, CIAH chaired the session. The program was started by a hearty welcome by Dr. Anita Meena, Scientist (Soil Science) and the convener of programme. Dr. (Ms) Vimala Dhunkwal delivered a lecture on importance of millets in women health and opportunities for self-employment through a variety of processed products of millets, which can help in doubling the farmer ‘s income through involvement of women. Dr. D. Singh, Principal Scientist and I/C Crop Production highlighted antioxidant properties in arid fruit and vegetables and their role in human health. Dr. Jagadish Rane, Director, ICAR-CIAH, provided an overview of the institutes objectives and achievements. He explained the opportunities emerging from nutritional and nutraceutical values of arid fruits and vegetables for startups and self-employment. This program involved the training for participants with emphasis on small scale home-based processing units and methods for arid fruits and vegetables. Hands-on training was provided for preparation of dehydrated products of arid vegetables like sangari, kachari and kakadia etc. Participants were also trained for value addition through processing and packaging of dehydrated sangari and preparation of fresh sangari pickles. Seed material and other inputs that were procured under SCSP scheme were distributed among the all SC women farmer participants during the training programme. Total 57 participants attended the program. The meeting was ended with vote of thanks by Mr. Roop Chand.

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