Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated 50 artisan-based SFURTI clusters spread over 18 States. In these clusters, over 42 thousand artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, wood craft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro processing, tea and others.
These clusters have been inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The MSME Ministry has funded 85 crore rupees for development of these SFURTI clusters. The Center is implementing the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) to organize traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gadkari said, more research needs to be done on what kind of village products are required by the consumers, and how to attractively design and market these products.
He suggested that the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad may be approached to improve the design and attractiveness of traditional products. He said, a web portal is also required, on the lines of Amazon or Alibaba to market these products effectively both in India and abroad.
The Minister also pointed out the need to step up the pace of formation of such clusters since only 82 of the 371 announced so far are actually functional.
Minister of State for MSME Pratap Chandra Sarangi said, formation of the clusters builds the confidence of traditional craftsmen and it is part of the government’s strategy of keeping villages at the core of the economic policy.