Friday, August 28, 2009


Traditionally women are supposed to be better equipped to transform raw food into delectable preparations, their own family members being their main consumers. Most famous example is the Lijjat papad manufacturer in the cooperative sector, owned by a group of enterprising women which is in the fore front in making a variety of good and safe quality papad products, popular all over world. Naturally any attempt to involve women in expanding the reach of the food processing industry is most welcome, if it can be achieved in an organized and sustained fashion. If the announcements and pronouncements of the concerned ministry in GOI are taken at their face value, the industry is bound to see better days ahead with assured growth and increased relevance in the life of the common man.

The '100 days' program of MFPI has many targets and one of them pertains to training of women entrepreneurs. According to this plan "it will provide food processing training to 500,000 women in collaboration with industrial training institutes (ITI) as part of its efforts to create 10 million jobs by 2015". How far this is practical given the constraints regarding availability of experienced trainers to guide these new entrepreneurs remains to be seen.

Probably GOI can think of linking this program with the massive feeding programs funded by it in various states and women can do a much better job in this area. Most of the anganwadis and other infrastructure currently deployed are managed by women and it is a question of integrating them into a national project that will look after the various nutrition oriented programs with necessary manufacturing base provided to them.


No comments: