Rs.50-lakh SHG products sold through DSMS

PUDUKOTTAI, APRIL 24 . The District Supply and Marketing Society (DSMS) has marketed products of self-help groups (SHG) to the tune of Rs. 50 lakhs during the last three years.

The sales during 2003-04 have been more than those in the earlier two years: during 2003-04, the value of products sold was Rs. 19.31 lakhs, while it was Rs. 16.23 lakhs in the previous year and Rs. 18.06 lakhs during 2001-02, official sources here told The Hindu today.

The DSMS is a wing of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) that finds markets for rural products.

The products had been sold both in and outside the district. Four exhibitions of SHG products were organised jointly by the DSMS, the DRDA and the Mahalir Thittam at Pudukottai during the last financial year. Such exhibitions, said the sources, helped to generate a revenue of Rs 3.5 lakhs. Sanitary items and quarry stone materials were among the products sold through the DSMS.

The DSMS disbursed on-lending loans to the activity-oriented and needy groups, as part of its aim to arrange for financial assistance to the SHGs. During the last two years, it disbursed Rs. 23.3 lakhs to 95 SHGs. It obtained loans from the Indian Overseas Bank. Among the 12 blocks in the district, the disbursement of on-lending loans was at a maximum in Thiruvarangulam with Rs 3.55 lakhs given to nine groups. The loans were being disbursed to the groups only in the past two years for activities such as manufacture of pickle, mosaic tiles and palm leaf products.

Having imparted training to 16 SHGs in sanitary napkins making, the sources said, the DSMS would arrange for providing raw material inputs to the groups. It identified two groups — one in Pudukottai block and the other in Thirumayam — for supplying raw materials. The group members would also be trained in marketing the product.

The Market Intelligence Cell (MIC), set up by the district administration early this year to identify markets for SHG products, had received several queries, including one from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the sources said.

The DSMS, Pudukottai, nominated as a State-level nodal marketing agency for SHG products, forwarded models of bylaws to those districts, where the DSMS were formed only recently.

Officials from various districts including Salem, Ramanathapuram and Tiruchi had visited the DSMS to know about its functioning, the kind of activities it was involved in and the services it offered to the groups.

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