Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], July 18 (ANI): The Department of Mission Shakti in convergence with the State Urban Development Authority (SUDA) under Housing and Urban Development Department is setting up three state-of-the-art pickle manufacturing units at Baripada, Berhampur and Dhenkanal to cater the needs of the "Aahar Centers" across the state.
In the Aahaar program, standardised hot cooked meals like rice and dalma are being provided at an affordable cost of Rs 5 to the urban needy population.
All the 166 Aahaar centres are being managed by Self Help Groups (SHGs). Each meal includes 10 grams pickle, thus 1 MT/ day or 300 MT/year pickle is required to cater to the requirement of all 166 Aahar centres across the state. Till now the SHGs were purchasing the required pickle from the open market, as per an official release.
Now, the state government has decided to tap the potential of women entrepreneurship through Mission Shakti SHGs by encouraging them to manage the semi mechanised pickle manufacturing units.
Maa Durga SHG, Baripada, Bighneswar II SHG, Berhampur and Mahasangam Mission Shakti ALF, Dhenkanal have been selected to run fully mechanised Pickle centers and fulfill the required demand of 300 MT pickle every year for Aahaar Centres. Each unit will supply pickle to the Aahar centers of 10 districts each.
All the three Mission Shakti SHGs have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (Mo) with Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI-CSIR), Mysuru on technology transfer of pickle making process. The President and Secretary from the groups had gone for an exposure visit to CFTRI, Mysuru in March to have first-hand experience on pickle making. CFTRI and the Horticulture officials are providing necessary training to these SHGs.
As per the norms of the Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), Food Safety Supervisors (FSS) have been engaged at the pickle-making units as quality assurance is one of the key aspects of pickle-making.
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. In the meanwhile, procurement of machinery and other equipments from CFTRI has been completed.
"The business model estimate of the project comes to Rs 80 lakh out of which Rs 47 lakhs each (1.41 crore for 3 units) incurred towards civil construction has been borne by Mission Shakti Department. All three Mission Shakti Groups have been provided with loan of Rs 30 lakh each from HDFC bank to meet the working capital and cost of equipment for operationalisation of the Pickle Units. The units will start production from August," the release said.
The estimated cost of production comes to Rs 45 per kg and selling price has been proposed as Rs 51. Each unit will supply 100 MT pickle to Aahaar. Thus, the estimated profit is approx Rs 6,00,000 per annum from each unit after meeting all expenditure. With an increase in efficiency and quantity of production, future provisioning of sale of pickles in open market will provide more income for these groups.
The Mission Shakti has achieved impressive progress in providing business worth of Rs 2800 crores in two years in convergence with different departments, the release added. (ANI)