GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - The Assam Khadi and Village Industries Board (AKVIB) is looking to ramp up production with a view to increase its sales and profit margin.
Sources said that the Board has set a target to produce at least 50,000 square metres of material, including khadi clothes and yarn, during the current 2018-19 fiscal as against 11,710 square metres in 2017-18.
�Our aim is to sell products worth at least Rs two crore this financial year. During the first six months of the fiscal, between April and September, we have already registered sales of over Rs 60 lakh,� said an official.
AKVIB had sold textiles worth Rs 1.5 crore in the last fiscal.
There are a total of 40 khadi production centres and 38 khadi outlets in Assam.
A number of the production centres have been shifted to new facilities, while many of the outlets have been renovated and given a new look.
New automatic handlooms are being introduced across the production centres which are being operated alongside the traditional ones to produce better quality khadi material. Sources said that the aim is to provide better quality products to the customers.
Sources said that lack of innovation with regard to design of khadi items as well as use of outdated equipments have affected production and sale of khadi products in the State during recent times.
�The Board is now working on ways to rectify this situation. Khadi has become very popular in recent times and we want to capitalise on the rising demand for such products,� said the official.
AKVIB is also keen to set up franchisee outlets to sell products produced by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.
Along with that, the Board is also focusing on introducing new designs, especially with a view to attract the young and upwardly mobile customers.
�Moreover, there are modern mustard oil production centres in 11 places in the State under the Board. Around 100 more such centres are to be established across the State. Among other places, the new centres will come up Noonmati and Hengrabari localities of Guwahati, besides Bongaigaon, Nazira, Raha, Majuli, Disangmukh and Chaigaon,� the official said.
Orders have been issued for new bottling and packaging equipments.
Plans are also afoot to establish 100 honeybee production units in the near future. The Board believes that the step will boost employment potential in remote villages across Assam.
It is noteworthy that AKVIB is undertaking the ambitious scheme to distribute khadi clothes to all the four lakh State Government employees. The project was formally launched on October 2 when Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal distributed khadi shirts to around 100 employees during the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations at the AKVIB office premises here.