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IIE to launch 5 SFRUTI projects in State

By Correspondent

MIRZA, Jan 30 - The Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) , Guwahati is going to launch a Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFRUTI) at Mirza (Chayani-Borduar Block) in Kamrup district for making traditional handloom industries more productive and competitive by organizing the traditional handloom industries and weavers into clusters.

This was disclosed by Shantanu Deka, Assistant Faculty Member, IIE while addressing a meeting at Gargara near here organized by the Integrated Rural Artisans Development Organization for launching a Women Entrepreneurship Development Project.

He said that the Mirza Cluster under SFRUTI scheme, which was supported by Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), would benefit 500 women traditional handloom weavers from 13 villages under Chayani-Borduar Block in Kamrup district.

Deka further said that the IIE would implement altogether five SFRUTI Clusters in Assam which include Brass Metal Cluster in Sarthebari in Barpeta district, Handloom Cluster in Chayani-Borduar block in Kamrup district, Traditional Dress Making Cluster in the fringe villages on Manas National Park in Baska district, Multi Activities Cluster in Majuli etc.

He added that the traditional industries in Assam are in a crisis and they cannot compete and sell their produce in markets outside Assam. Besides, the income level of the traditional artisans� is low and hence they have been migrating to other activities despite having good skills in their traditional industries.

�The major reasons for this crisis are lack of design diversification, lack of knowledge on markets, poor outdated technology and non-availability of sufficient working capital to run their business in a commercial way and for these reasons, the IIE has taken the initiative for upgradation of the traditional industry sectors through SFRUTI scheme,� he said.

Deka said that through the SFRUTI Scheme, the IIE would focus on empowerment of the traditional weavers in the Chayani-Borduar Block in Kamrup district initiating two interventions�soft and hard. The soft interventions would include capacity building (training) of beneficiaries, product development (design & product diversification), market promotion (market linkage) and formation of producer organizations. Hard interventions would include providing improved looms to the beneficiaries, setting up of Common Facility Centre etc., which will help the beneficiaries to get empowered in the long run.

Subodh Kumar of the Export Promotion Council asked the beneficiaries to produce market-oriented produce having good design in order to sell the products in the national and international markets.

�The handloom fabric of the Northeast is unique and is not generally preferred by customers in national and international markets and hence market-oriented products should be woven by the traditional weavers of Assam for getting profit out of their produce and consultancy should be provided to the traditional weavers for providing knowledge on the type of cloth needed to be woven for sale of the produces,� he added.

Dr Darsana Goswamee Deka also delivered a technical lectures on modern handloom weaving in the meeting.

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