Food cluster faces fund crunch in Gulbarga
By Marx Tejaswi | ENS | Published: 14th August 2013 08:40 AM |
The first and only food processing cluster in the state, which is run by women, is facing difficulties in marketing its products. Reason: Delay in the release of funds from the Karnataka Council for Technological Upgradation (KCTU), a joint venture of the Central and State Governments, and industry associations.
The Sri Shakti Mahila Abhivridhi Samsthe is running the cluster, where 30 women entrepreneurs contribute directly. Besides this, 50 women self-help groups are members.
The Union government sanctioned this cluster in 2008 under the Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP). Of the promised Rs 23 lakh, the cluster got 90 per cent of the funds due to it.
However, the delay in the release of the remaining Rs 2.3 lakh is has become an obstruction to market their products.
“We have already purchased 22 major pieces of machinery. But due to this simple procedural delay in releasing the final 10 percent, our cluster is not fully operational,’’ the Samsthe chairperson R S Vijayalakshmi told Express.
The cluster has been producing food products since February last year.
“But, there is a problem in packing and marketing the products. Marketing will be improved only if we pack the products properly so that it does not deteriorate. We need a form-fill-sealing machine and nitrogen cylinders for packing of food products. Those can be purchased only if the KCTU releases funds at the earliest,” she contended.This cluster has five sections - spice products, food products, instant food products, bakery products and snacks.
Vijayalakshmi said: “Our members take part in fairs and market their products. We are planning to hire some men also to market our products. Our products have to be made available in superstores too.”