Fillip to women weavers as Odisha's Sambalpur administration launches producers’ company

The producers’ company has been established with the active participation of around 200 women weavers hailing from four villages.
For representational purposes.
For representational purposes.

SAMBALPUR: In an effort to augment the income of women weavers under different SHGs in the district through capacity building and marketing opportunities, the Sambalpur district administration has formed a producers’ company,  ‘Sambandho Mahila Bunakar Producers’ (SMBP) Company Limited.

Reportedly, the state government has sanctioned Rs 1.18 crore from Mission Shakti for different activities of the company for the first year, which will be supervised by Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM). As per the head-wise breakup, Rs 9.22 lakh has been sanctioned for the community capacity building and institution building, Rs 75,000 for knowledge and technology transfer, Rs 37.01 lakh towards development of community nodes, Rs 41.97 lakh towards working capital, Rs 5 lakh towards branding and promotion, Rs 6 lakh for marketing and lastly Rs 18.31 lakh for value addition.

Women weavers at work | Express
Women weavers at work | Express

The producers’ company has been established with the active participation of around 200 women weavers hailing from four villages including Kardola, Kandhara, Charpali and Huma in the district. District programme manager of OLM, Puspashree Nayak said, the objective of the initiative is to generate more marketing opportunities for the products made by the women weavers in the district. Several women members under different SHGs in Sambalpur are having a fine hand in handloom work. However, due to limited marketing opportunities and less profits, their interest in traditional craftsmanship is falling day by day, she added.

“Through the project, these women weavers will not only get a better market for their products but the quality of their work will also increase through skill development and capacity building training,” Nayak said. She further said, until now they were usually procuring the tie (bandha) from external sources as they are not proficient in making the tie and dye. “This incurred them a higher cost due to which they lost a good margin of their profit. They are now being provided training to produce their own tie and dye. Gradually, their dependency on external sources will end,” she further stated.

The training for the women weavers of Kardola was completed in the first phase. The other women weavers associated with the producers’ company will also be provided training in the next phases. As part of increasing the marketability of their products, provisions will be made to showcase their products at kiosks in airports and railway stations. Similarly, their products will also be marketed through Boyanika and Sambalpuri Bastralaya through which they will get encouraging prices for their products.

Official sources informed that plans are also afoot to provide marketing facilities through e-commerce platforms. And on the skill development front, for the management of other activities, financial literacy and account management training are also in the pipeline.

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