Dirang Food processing Cluster, Arunachal Pradesh
The Dirang block which occupies the north-western part of the district of West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh with its Head Quarters at Dirang was formed on December 1, 1957. The block has 36 villages with a mountainous topography.
The Dirang Food Processing cluster is confined to eight (8) villages of Dirang development block. There are 320 households scattered across the eight villages. As has been found, the population in all the eight (8) villages belongs to the scheduled tribe (ST). The composition of the population in the eight villages shows that the male population is 59.25 per cent which outnumbers the female population i.e 40.75 per cent.
Ms Rinchin Droma is said to have initiated food plantation for the first time within the Dirang Town in 1967. It was again Ms Droma who later took to food processing in a traditional manner and it was from her that fellow villagers picked up the art. As the custom of the hill tribes permits manufacturing of the local brew Apong within households, the fruits grown like apples were used to extract Apong. And, indeed this was the beginning of food processing in Dirang.
The Dirang Food Processing cluster is in fact, a cluster of processed food made from raw fruits and vegetables. The products which are made in a traditional manner are manufactured by the small units – firms as well as households are spread across villages in the block.
In the 22 units across the eight (8) villages, it is found that 268 persons are engaged in the cluster, of whom 199 (74.25 per cent) are male and 69 female (25.74 per cent). Total percentage of male workers engaged in food processing is 74.25 % and percentage of female workers engaged in food processing is 25.74%.