Plans to scale up agarbatti production
BHUBANESWAR: With buy-back arrangement with tobacco major ITC Limited for procurement of raw agarbatti, the Government has planned..
BHUBANESWAR: With buy-back arrangement with tobacco major ITC Limited for procurement of raw agarbatti, the Government has planned to scale up production of agarbatti to about 100 tonnes a month by the end of the current financial year.
Plans are afoot to supply additional 1,000 rolling machines to women self-help groups under special SGSY to increase the production of raw agarbatti and enhance supplementary income to about 7,000 rural women. This was decided at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary BK Patnaik recently.
ITC has given 136 rolling machines free of cost to the SHGs for a demonstration. The Government has planned to roll out another 4,000 machines in the next four years to SHG members who have taken training.
ITC chief executive officer VM Rajasekhar informed the meeting that the company was establishing perfuming and packaging centre at Jagatpur near Cuttack for value addition. The centre will be operational shortly.
ITC which signed a memorandum of understanding with Orissa Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) on October 14, 2009 to buy back raw agarbatti had so far procured more than 500 tonnes of agarbattis from five clusters in five districts. Now the Government is planning to expand agarbatti rolling activities to 10 districts, said ORMAS chief executive BN Das.
The market intervention by ORMAS has been providing additional income to about 3,000 rural women of select blocks of five districts in the first phase. The five districts covered in the first phase are Bhadrak, Balasore, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Kandhamal. Efforts are on to cover another 7,000 rural women for supply of hand rolling agarbattis.
Forty-six women SHGs having 420 members of five blocks of the tribal-dominated Kandhamal district were supplying raw agarbatti to ITC in the first phase. However, 900 rollers of the district have so far supplied 21 tonnes to ITC with additional income of over ` 10 lakh.
In 2007, ORMAS took up agarbatti making as one of the key activities for providing additional livelihood option to the rural poor women in several villages under Bhapur block of Nayagarh district.
Till July 2009, the rural producers supplied about 20 tonnes of rolled agarbatti to JDPPL and now ORMAS intervention enabled producers to earn an additional income of ` 13 to 14 a kg.
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