In a recent State-wide survey, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – Development Institute (MSME-DI), Chennai, has identified about 15 feasible micro agro enterprises that could enable job-seekers to turn into job providers.

The survey was conducted in all the 32 districts of Tamil Nadu covering 378 blocks and six blocks of Puducherry. The resources were divided into 15 broad categories covering more than 30 value added viable projects with an investment varying from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1 crore.

MSME-DI has identified agro and allied enterprises, food-based enterprises, floriculture, sericulture, apiculture, herbal extraction, honey-based value added products, vermicomposting, integrated dairy farming, value added products from coir and coir pith, rural-oriented servicing centre, rural marketing, rural BPO, marine products and forest based value added products as the potential areas.

Talking to The Hindu , MSME-DI, Chennai Director, S. Sivagnanam said, “Our objective is to create opportunities in the villages for economic activity, provide decent employment to the locals, arrest migration, avoid over flooding of urban population, integrating tradition with modern technology, provide livelihood option for the down trodden and to alleviate poverty.”

As per the proposal, in the first phase 52 Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) were rolled out in Madurai, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Nagapattinam and Vellore districts. MSME-DI along with banks offered marketing, technology, finance, mentoring and hand holding services. Special thrust was given to establish value added enterprises based on local resource endowments by creating necessary marketing linkages.

“About 20 entrepreneurs were provided training in each EDP for six weeks. In turn, they are expected to provide jobs to around 5,000 people. On our part, we are providing technology and marketing support. Indian Bank and Corporation Bank have come forward to provide financial support to the MSME-DI trained entrepreneurs. This will certainly set a trend in developing agro-based micro enterprises in the State of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry,” he said.

According to Mr. Sivagnanam, the project covers hilly and forest region to improve the livelihood of tribals and at the same time to protect the environment and forest resources. As a test case, the project was launched in the Jawadu hills recently.

“Following the success of our scheme in the Jawadu hills, we will roll it out in other hilly regions of the State soon. Besides, the second phase of EDP would be kick-started in a month's time,” he said.

  • 52 programmes rolled out in some districts
  • Project covers hilly and forest region too