Centre expands support to artisans for making incense sticks; 400 automatic agarbatti making machines to be provided

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The programme will immediately benefit about 1,500 artisans, in providing sustainable employment with increased earnings

Taking a holistic approach and looking to the enhanced interest of the stakeholders, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), further expanded the reach and support to Artisans, involved in incense sticks making, and to its industry, by issuing new guidelines on Friday.

Further to its launching the support programme in July this year, the MSME ministry looked at all aspects of the industry, beyond just supply of machines for making incense sticks. This includes ensuring supply of inputs and raw materials, the demand for which has increased hugely in last one year.

Under the expanded programme, 400 automatic agarbatti making machines as against 200 earlier, and  additional 500 pedal operated machines will be given to ‘Self Help Groups (SHGs)’ and individuals through 20 pilot projects, across the country with proper marketing and raw material supply tie ups.

The programme will immediately benefit about 1,500 artisans, in providing sustainable employment with increased earnings. Artisans developing hand rolled agarbatti and ‘migrant workers’ will be given preference as part of the programme.

To make India self-reliant in this sector, the total size of the programme, has been increased to more than Rs 55 crore, which will include immediate support to about 1,500 artisans of about Rs 3.45 crore, development of two centers of excellence costing at Rs 2.20 crore at IITs/NITs and at FFDC Kannauj and setting up of 10 new SFURTI clusters at a cost of about Rs 50 crore, benefitting about 5000 additional artisans. Earlier the size of the program was of Rs 2.66 crore covering about 500 artisans.

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), one of the statutory organizations, under the MSME ministry, will implement the program and will handhold the artisans & SHGs with proper backward & forward linkages and needful support.

These projects will give boost to the incense stick industry and help in further building indigenous capability in all areas of agarbatti manufacturing with increased exports, and enhanced employment opportunities to the Artisans and entrepreneurs.

Image credit: News Nation TV

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