January 29, 2006

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Subhiksha, Perambra Block Panchayat, Kozhikode.

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700 small units consisting of 7000 women below poverty line - all engaged in producing and marketing 41 value added items based on coconut, with each connected to the other in a cooperative production chain: this in a ‘nutshell’ is the Subhiksha programme of Perambra Block Panchayat in Kozhikode.

Here all activities are interconnected.  23 units procure coconut from farmers.  Husk is taken to units dealing in mechanized fibre production.  Coconut is taken to copra drier unit.  The coconut water is given to units producing squash, vinegar etc.  Dried copra is handed over to coconut oil producing units.  Shell is given to units specializing in charcoal production.  In addition to selling coconut oil, a part of it ends up in units producing soap.  Parallel to this is are the units making coconut pickle, jam, candy, tender coconut cake, hair oil etc.  Some even specialize in providing wholesome tender coconut as a ‘snowball’.  Subhiksha has entered into an agreement with Rubco to extract virgin oil from undried coconut.

Whatever be the quantity of coconut, shell or husk available in the market, the cooperative is ready to buy it.  There are collectives of women for direct marketing of Subhiksha products from door to door.  In addition, the unit producing coconut saplings sold 20000 seedlings last year.

A project under SGSY scheme of the Centre, it has a funding of Rs.6 crores by the Centre, Rs.2 crores by the State and Rs.4 crores as loan from Banks besides contribution by the beneficiaries.  Each unit consisting of 10 to 15 women has a manager.  And each unit has its own land and building.

Slowly the products of Subhiksha have started making an impact in the local market.

Courtesy: Jose K.Vayalil (text), Sree, Malayala Manorama, November 13, 2006
Contributed by: Administrator 



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