Jagatsinghpur Nov 16 (LocalWire) Coconut products have become a boon for rural women in coastal villages of Jagatsinghpur district.
Women members of Jaya Jagannath Coconut Producer Group, a non-profit organisation of Krushndaspur village under Balikuda block, have become successful entrepreneurs by producing value-added products from coconut.
Earlier, these women had to depend on their husbands for their daily expenses.
Pertinently, most men don’t have a decent income by working as daily labourers, domestic helps, and collecting firewood.
Poverty often prevent their children from getting even basic education.
The women also suffered from several health issues as a result of poverty and lack of awareness.
In an attempt to uplift their socio-economic condition, the district administration and horticulture formed Jaya Hanuman Coconut Producers Society, consisting of 100 rural women and having 30 to 40 SHGs to equip them with technology and financial assistance to set up manufacturing units for the coconut products.
Later, the administration formed Jaya Jagannath Coconut Producer Group by picking 30 women out of these 100.
Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS), an apex body under the state government’s panchayati raj department, has taken all efforts for training women and providing a market linkage to the products and in turn providing better, sustainable means to earn livelihood.
These women were sent to Coconut Development Board of Sakhigopal under Puri district for obtaining training from experts to produce traditional coconut oil and other produce from coconut trees.
Earlier, horticulture department had distributed 500 coconut plantation, pesticide, and fertilizers to grow coconut trees to women groups for their self-reliance.
These women were able to grow coconuts, but failed to generate profit from its production due to distress sale; they had sold coconut at Rs 5 each.
So, this women group changed their mind and engaged in producing coconut products, including traditional coconut oil, coconut kora (sweet), coconut flour, sale of coconut husk and shell for offering God with ‘Jhuna’ and burn ward off mosquitoes, cake and other product from coconut.
On Thursday, in another achievement, ‘Meera Coconut oil’ and other products were launched by collector Yamini Sarangi at DRDA office.
Addressing the function, she said the new venture would act as a catalyst to revive the market for coconut products and give a boost to women groups.
Women members Bishnu Priya Nanda, Sanghmita Nayak, Lipika Moharana said: “We have stood against all odds and transferred ourselves from simple women to empowered businesswomen of the society.”
Assistant Director ORMAS, Satya Sundar Sibram Paital, informed: “Their quality product is being certified by Coconut Development Board so ORMAS has drawn up plans to develop other value-added products from coconut and decided to send these women members to Kerala for exposure visit, training to produce other products from coconut.”
“Effort is going to sale their product on Reliance Fresh and other malls, including ORMAS outlets,” he added.