Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has created a unique business model to empower women Agarbatti artisans in Assam and strengthen the local Agarbatti industry, which is a major employment creator in the state. KVIC has engaged 70 tribal women with Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) to set up their own Agarbatti manufacturing units at Birkuchi in the Kamrup district of Assam. KVIC has also roped in a business partner, which is a successful local Agarbatti manufacturer of Assam that will provide raw material and take back all the Agarbatti produced by these 70 women entrepreneurs by paying labour charges. These women belong to 7 self-help groups (SHGs).
This Agarbatti business model is unique in the sense that these women entrepreneurs will be free from the hassle of selling or marketing their finished goods. On the other hand, the business partner will enhance his production of Agarbatti without incurring any capital cost on purchasing new machines. KVIC has engaged “Mahabahu Agro Products”, a leading Agarbatti Manufacturing unit, which was earlier set up by KVIC under the PMEGP program, as the business partner. It will also extend all technical support to these women entrepreneurs for manufacturing high-quality Agarbatti. These 70 machines will produce a huge quantity of nearly 5600 KG Agarbatti daily that will be purchased by the business partner.
KVIC, under its flagship PMEGP scheme has facilitated a total financial aid of Rs 35 lakh – Rs 5 lakh for each of the 70 units – through Assam Gramin Vikash Bank, Guwahati to these women, to set up the agarbatti manufacturing units. KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena on Thursday handed over the sanction letters to these women entrepreneurs at Gauhati. KVIC has given a subsidy of 35%, i.e. Rs 12.25 lakh to support these units. With this bank loan, the entrepreneurs have been provided with automatic agarbatti making machines, mixer machines and dryer machines. These women will get machines soon.