Seabuckthorn was initially planted in Ladakh, India to stop soil erosion. The harsh climate in Ladakh which is at an elevation of 10,000-14,000 ft has long been cut off from India’s economic boom. The area, part of Kashmir, and very close to China was in need of a self-help initiative and seabuckthorn may now be a significant cash crop.
The berry which has high anti-oxidant properties is now being used as a prime ingredient in over 20 different edible and non-edible products. Seabuckthorn juices, anti-aging creams, and now wine have emerged from a small experiment where 33 women started in one room in their small village. The mash, leftover from pulp extraction, has advanced from being a waste product of production, to being used to make wines and as an ingredient in the liquor industry.
In 2007 the area was only using 5% of its potential for seabuckthorn production.