The Odisha government will provide business worth Rs 5,000 crore in five years to women self-help groups in the state through Mission Shakti to enhance their economic power and strengthen their sources of livelihood, officials said.
Sources said Mission Shakti has achieved impressive progress and provided business worth Rs 2,800 crore in two years to women’s groups in convergence with different departments. Odisha has over six lakh women self-help groups.
In order to enlarge the scope of enhancing the income base of these groups, Mission Shakti in convergence with the State Urban Development Authority under the housing and urban development department is setting up three state-of-the-art pickle manufacturing units at Baripada, Berhampur and Dhenkanal to cater to the needs of Aahaar centres across Odisha.
Earlier, the state government had handed over unused buildings at the panchayat level to be used by the groups and involved them in a number of income-generating activities.
Under the Aahaar programme, standardised hot cooked meals (rice and dalma) are provided at Rs 5 to the urban poor.
All the 166 Aahaar centres in the state are managed by the self-help groups.
“Each meal includes 10g pickle. Hence, at least 1MT (metric tonnes) a day or 300MT per year of pickle is required to cater to all 166 Aahaar centres across the state. Till now the SHGs were purchasing pickle from the open market. Now the state government has decided to tap the potential of women entrepreneurship through SHGs under Mission Shakti by encouraging them to manage the semi-mechanised pickle manufacturing units,” an official said.
The state government has selected Maa Durga SHG, Baripada, Bighneswar II SHG, Berhampur, and Mahasangam Mission Shakti ALF, Dhenkanal, to run the pickle manufacturing units and fulfil the annual demand of 300MT pickle for Aahaar centres. Each unit will supply pickle to the Aahaar centres of 10 districts each.
“All the three Mission Shakti SHGs have signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI-CSIR), Mysore, for technology transfer of pickle-making process. The CFTRI and horticulture department officials are providing necessary training to these SHGs,” an official said.
According to the norms of the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), food safety supervisors have been engaged at the pickle-making units as quality assurance is one of the key aspects of the process.
“The groups have already procured requisite raw materials such as mango, lemon, carrot, ginger, green chilli and other spices and cured the ingredients and stored them in the centre for future use. All three Mission Shakti groups have been provided with a loan of Rs 30 lakh each from HDFC Bank to meet the working capital and cost of equipment for operationalisation of the pickle uUnits. The units will start production from August 2021,” an official said.
“The estimated cost of production comes to Rs 45 per kg and the selling price has been proposed as Rs 51. Each unit will supply 100MT pickle to Aahaar (centres). Thus, the estimated profit is approximately Rs 6 lakh per annum from each unit after meeting all expenditure.
“With increase in efficiency and quantity of production, future provisioning of sale of pickles in the open market will provide more income for these groups,” said a government media release issued on Saturday.