Kerala, renowned for its rich and diverse micro-enterprises in the food processing sector, is experiencing a significant upsurge in growth and development through the implementation of the One District One Product (ODOP) approach. This visionary strategy has created an enabling environment for micro-entrepreneurs, providing them with access to credit and subsidies to scale up production and enhance marketing under the esteemed Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) Scheme.
In a bid to bolster the growth of micro-enterprises in the food sector, the PM FME Scheme offers substantial support to budding entrepreneurs. Under this scheme, micro-entrepreneurs can avail a remarkable 35% of the available project cost as a subsidy, with an impressive cap of ₹10 lakh. This financial boost has already been sanctioned to 1,233 enterprises, with 581 entrepreneurs receiving a cumulative subsidy amounting to ₹15.09 crore in the individual category in the State, according to a recent press statement released by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC).
The PM FME scheme aims to transform the landscape of the food processing industry by formalizing and empowering micro-food processing units across the nation. Through this initiative, the government intends to enhance the competitiveness of these enterprises, enable their integration into the formal economy, and promote inclusive growth and sustainable development.
One of the pivotal components of the PM FME scheme is the provision of seed capital assistance. Under this facet, each member of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) engaged in food processing activities through the esteemed Kudumbashree Mission is eligible to receive a seed capital assistance of ₹40,000. This financial aid is specifically intended for working capital and the purchase of essential small tools. Kudumbashree Mission, an influential community-driven initiative, plays a key role in promoting economic and social programs, empowering women, and fostering community networks.
The successful implementation of the seed capital assistance program for SHGs is made possible through the unwavering support of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM). Their extensive network, along with the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and State Urban Livelihood Mission (SULM), ensures seamless execution and distribution of resources to deserving beneficiaries.
The ODOP approach has emerged as a game-changer, encouraging a wide range of micro-enterprises to thrive in the food processing sector. By providing access to credit and subsidies, the government aims to remove financial barriers that have historically impeded the growth and formalization of these enterprises. The support received through the PM FME scheme is catalyzing the growth of micro-food processing units, empowering entrepreneurs to invest in infrastructure, technology, and skilled manpower, ultimately fostering economic development in the region.
This strategic intervention in the food sector is set to revitalize rural and urban economies alike, creating job opportunities and improving livelihoods for countless individuals. Moreover, the formalization of these micro-enterprises will enhance food safety standards, increase product quality, and facilitate access to new markets, strengthening the overall value chain in the food processing sector.
As Kerala’s micro-enterprises continue to flourish under the visionary ODOP approach and the PM FME scheme, the state is positioned to become a trailblazer in promoting sustainable, inclusive, and dynamic growth in the food processing industry. The transformative impact of this initiative is poised to benefit not only the micro-entrepreneurs but also the entire state economy, heralding a new era of prosperity and progress.