A few days ago, Union Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), had announced expanding and doubling the support to artisans who might be interested in making agarbatti. Taking these efforts further, the ministry has now come out with new guidelines for two more schemes which include ‘Pottery Activity’ and ‘Beekeeping Activity’.
These new initiatives of the ministry with beneficiary oriented self-employment schemes, are aimed at rejuvenating the grassroot economy contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
For ‘Pottery Activity’ the Government will provide assistance of pottery wheel, Clay Blunger and Granulator. It will also provide Wheel Pottery Training for traditional pottery artisans and Press Pottery training for pottery as well as non-pottery artisans in self-help-groups. There is also provision to provide Jigger-Jolly training programme for pottery as well as non-pottery artisan in SHGs.
Assistance is being done to enhance the production, technical knowhow of pottery artisans and to develop new products at reduced costs; to enhance the income of pottery artisans through training and modern / automated equipment; to provide skill development to SHGs of pottery-artisans on focused /decorative products, with new pottery designs; to encourage the successful traditional potter to set up unit under PMEGP scheme; to develop necessary market linkages by tying up with exports and large buying houses; to innovate new products and raw materials to make international scale pottery in the country; preparing them to graduate from pottery to crockery and trainer’s training programme for skilled pottery artisans who want to work as master trainers.
Pottery improvements in the scheme
- Skill development training on focused products like garden pots, cooking-wares, khullad, water bottles, decorator products, mural, etc. to SHGs of pottery-artisans has been introduced.
- Focus of the new scheme is to enhance the production, technical knowhow of pottery artisans and efficiency of potter energy kilns to reduce cost of production
- Efforts will be made to develop necessary market linkages by tying up with exports and large buying houses.
A total of 6,075 traditional and non-traditional pottery artisans, rural unemployed youth, migrant labourers will get benefitted from this scheme.
As financial support for the year 2020-21, an amount of Rs.19.50 crore will be expended to support 6,075 artisans with a centre-of-excellence, with MGIRI, Wardha, CGCRI, Khurja, VNIT, Nagpur and suitable IIT/NID/ NIFT among others, for product development, advance skill programme, and quality standardisation of products.
Additional amount of Rs. 50 crore has been provisioned for setting up of clusters in Terracotta, Red clay pottery, with new innovative value added products to build pottery to crockery/ tile making capabilities, under ‘ SFURTI’ scheme of the ministry.
In case of the scheme for ‘Beekeeping Activity’, the Government will provide assistance of bee boxes and tool kits. Under this scheme, bee boxes, with bee colonies, will also be distributed to migrant workers in Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan (PMGKRA) districts. A 5-day beekeeping training will also be provided to the beneficiaries through various training centres, state beekeeping extension eentresand master trainers as per prescribed syllabus.
This is being done to create sustainable employment for the beekeepers and farmers; to provide supplementary income for beekeepers and farmers; to create awareness about honey and other hive products; to help artisans adopt scientific beekeeping and management practices; to utilise available natural resources in beekeeping; to create awareness about the benefits of beekeeping in cross pollination.
Ministry officials said that in addition to creating additional income sources through these employment opportunities, the ultimate objective is to make India self-sufficient in these products and also to eventually capture the export markets.
To begin with, the scheme proposes to cover, during 2020-21, a total of 2,050 beekeepers, entrepreneurs, farmers, unemployed youth, adivasis. For this purpose a financial support of Rs.13 crore during 2020-21 has been provisioned to support them — 1250 people from SHGs and 800 migrant labourers — with a centre-of-excellence with CSIR/ IIT or other leaning institute to develop honey based new value added products.
Additional amount of Rs. 50 crore has also been kept for developing beekeeping honey clusters under the ‘ SFURTI scheme of the ministry.
Detailed guidelines for these schemes in English and Hindi have been put on the ministry’s websites. The same are also being circulated through social media outreach.