The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has taken a holistic approach andfurther increased the reach and support to Artisans, involved in Agarbatti making, and to the Agarbatti Industry. The four main pillars of the new program are-
i) Continuously supporting the artisans through training, raw material, marketing and financial support
ii) Working on all aspects of this product, like innovation in the fragrance packaging, use of new / alternate raw materials like re-usable flowers, coir pith etc., supply of bamboo sticks by closely working with the Ministry of Agriculture etc. A 'Center of Excellence' for this purpose is being set up in FFDC (Flavour and Fragrance Development Center) Kannauj
iii) Setting up 10 clusters with proper marketing linkages under SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) scheme of the Ministry of MSME at a total cost of about INR 50 crore, to benefit about 5000 artisans for their sustainable employment and enhanced earnings
iv) Strengthen the machine manufacturing capability to achieve self-sufficiency in the country and develop various other products by setting up 'Centers of Excellence' with IITs/NITs etc. at a cost of INR 2.20 crore.
Under the expanded program, 400 Automatic Agarbatti making machines as against 200 earlier, and additional 500 Pedal operated Machines will be given to 'Self Help Groups (SHGs)' and individuals through 20 pilot projects, across the country with proper marketing and raw material supply tie ups. The program will immediately benefit about 1500 artisans, in providing sustainable employment with increased earnings. Artisans developing hand rolled Agarbatti and 'Migrant workers' will be given preference as part of the program.
According to the official statement, the total size of the program has been increased to more than INR 55 crore, which will include immediate support to about 1500 artisans of about INR 3.45 crore, development of two centers of Excellence costing at INR 2.20 crore at IITs/NITs and at FFDC Kannauj and setting up of 10 new SFURTI clusters at a cost of about INR 50 Crore, benefitting about 5000 additional artisans. Earlier the size of the program was of INR 2.66 crore covering about 500 artisans.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), one of the statutory organizations, under the Ministry of MSME, will implement the program and will handhold the artisans and SHGs with proper backward and forward linkages and needful support.