BHUBANESWAR: In a significant step towards empowerment of small farmers from backward districts of the State, the Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board (OKVIB) has installed a mustard oil processing unit in the City. The unit, located on the premises of Udyogiri at Gandamunda area, is equipped with eight motor-enabled oil extraction machines.
Earlier, a Kachi ghani mustard oil unit existed at the same location which was destroyed in the super cyclone of 1999. With financial assistance from the State Government, the OKVIB took an initiative to revive the unit at a cost of `10 lakh. The cold pressed machines which can extract upto 60 litres of mustard oil per day, have been procured from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, OKVIB Chairman Tejeswar Parida said.
Procurement of mustard seeds to run the plant will be done from remote districts of the State where farmers are victims of distress sale. ‘’Raw material will be purchased at market price from farmers through Odisha Consumer Cooperative Federation - Bhanjaprabha from all districts. This will eliminate the scope of farmers getting exploited by middlemen,’’ Parida added.
Inaugurating the processing unit, MSME Minister Jogendra Behera exhorted consumers to purchase mustard oil from OKVIB to support small farmers. ‘’The products are 100 per cent adulteration free and more such units are required to imbibe financial independence of people in remote areas,’’ he added.
The Board will soon install a honey processing plant with capacity of 100 kg of honey per day at the same facility. The honey processing plant will be procured from Pune. Once the facility is fully operational, the Board expects to supply more processed honey inside and outside State.
On the occasion, sanction letters of village industries were distributed to 26 entrepreneurs from six districts. Projects like rice mill, paper cup and plate production, beauty parlour, automobile servicing, ready-made garment manufacturing, cement products and carpentry were approved for assistance by the MSME Department.