Opportunity for establishing agro-based industries in the district was very bright owing to the availability of plenty of raw materials within the district.

Moreover, the government has also been offering more concessions and subsidies for entrepreneurs who wished to start industries in backward areas of the district. Youths should utilise it to become successful entrepreneurs, said Collector K. Nagarajan.

He was presiding over a seminar-cum-orientation programme for young entrepreneurs here recently.

Raw material availability was good in the district for running agro-based industries.

Opportunity for manufacturing paper and paper-based products, coconut husk and coir-based products, fruit juices and fruit processing, readymade dress, flower juice extraction, hollow blocks, cement bricks and country bricks were excellent.

Such industries would get raw materials at their door steps. Availability of raw materials in nearby areas would scale down production costs to a large extent.

Besides, creation of infrastructure like cold storage for agro-based products was also very good. Marketing of these products was not difficult. The market for these products within and outside the district was huge, he pointed out.

Role of small, tiny and micro enterprises in economic development was very vital.

At present, the district has 10,106 small, tiny and medium industries, 8,206 cottage industries and 2,880 handicrafts units, generating over 70,000 jobs directly and one lakh jobs indirectly.

Gujiliamparai, Natham, Nilakottai, Oddanchatram, Reddiyarchatram, Sanarpatti and Vedasandur blocks were identified as backward blocks and concessions and grants were given to those who wished to start units in these areas.

The government will offer grant with 15 per cent subsidy for self employment, upto Rs.5 lakh with subsidy for production units, Rs.3 lakh for service units and Rs. 1 lakh for trade activities.

The government had already released a capital grant of Rs.10 lakh, VAT grant of Rs.2.30 lakh, power grant of Rs.2.82 lakh and lower tension power grant of Rs.6 lakh. These amounts were disbursed to 19 units so far.

Besides, economic assistance and revolving funds, economic loan were also given to self help groups and women, he added.

Keywords: agro industry

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