Efforts to enhance procurement from SC/ST entrepreneurs

Government of India, through its public sector units (PSUs) intends to procure more from entrepreneurs in the SC/ST communities.  With this goal in mind, the Central Food Technological Research Institute, in collaboration with NSSH, has designed a host of capacity building and training programmes on food processing not only for existing entrepreneurs but also for aspiring ones from the SC/ST communities.

These programmes are intended to enhance their awareness on (a) the possibilities to do business with PSUs, (b) various opportunities to access finance, (c) starting a new venture.

  1. Kokila, Head, National SC-ST Hub (NSSH), Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, Regional Office, Bengaluru, was optimistic when she said that ‘These programmes would help PSUs to procure the reserved 4% quota’. She also hoped that ‘more entrepreneurs from these communities would earnestly participate in the programmes and make good use of the knowledge being shared’. 

    Ms Kokila said that NSSH has been formed to address this problem of low-procurement by Public Sector Units from SC-ST manufacturers. “The NSSH will be there to hand-hold the entrepreneurs after the training, for helping with financing, marketing and management of enterprises,” she said.

    The first training programme on Fruit and Vegetable Technologies for value addition was held from 6 to 13 January 2020. The second programme on ‘Spice processing: business opportunities and future prospectis’ will be from 20 to 28 January. A training programme on ‘Wheat milling and baking technology’ is scheduled to be held from 17 February to 26 February 2020.

    “This is the first training programme for SC/ST Entrepreneurs through NSSH.  CFTRI did have meetings and workshops for SC/ST Entrepreneurs earlier but this is the first training program” said Dr. KSMS Raghavarao, Director, CSIR-CFTRI.

    Dr Raghavarao also said that the CSIR-CFTRI has designed training programme keeping in mind the budding, the aspiring as well as the existing entrepreneurs who want to expand and diversify,” he said.

    The training programme was offered free of cost to the candidates and is funded by NSSH.  In the first programme 24 participants participated in the programme.

    “Essentially the hub helps by hand holding in getting started, besides also providing subsidies for certain expenditures.  Export promotion and PSU procurements are also helped. It is also helping to set up clusters” said A. Kokila. (India Science Wire)