PROTO PRIME HUB, BAKDIL

South West Garo Hills is rich in natural resources and has an abundance of cash crop that is accessible to most farmers, but their full potential for economic development is yet to be realised. Sensing the opportunity, the government in collaboration with Bakdil NGO supported the establishment of what would be one of the first Proto(type) PRIME Hubs that would introduce local farmers to organised entrepreneurship facilitation for economic enhancement.
About 95% of the farmers in South West Garo Hills grow arecanut either in large or small scale. This presents a tremendous opportunity for innovative value addition such as the manufacturing of bio-degradable arecanut leaf plates, which also bodes well with the state’s vision for sustainable development. Another area of opportunity in this domain is paper recycling. These were the two activities initially taken up under the Proto PRIME Hub.

“About 95% of the farmers in West Garo Hills grow arecanut either in large
or small scale. This presents a huge opportunity for value addition.”

Operationalizing the Proto PRIME Hub

The Proto PRIME Hub was conceptualised jointly by the district administration and Bakdil NGO and is setup as a micro manufacturing hub with an investment of INR 20 lakhs made by MBDA through its viability gap funding programme. The unit comprises an RCC building and machineries and is currently fully operational. Besides manufacturing and recycling, the unit is also equipped for cross sector training and marketing of products.
The Hub is currently operated by the BakdilMikasal Farmers’ Producer Organization, a registered society supported by Bakdil NGO, comprising 260 members from 34 villages. The organization has also been facilitated through the Enterprise Facilitation Centre (EFC) at Zikzak where it was supported with online marketing and connected to various departments and institutions for support. Production started from October 2018.
For day-to-day operations of the unit, 6 people have been employed both from amongst the members of the organization as well as from outside.

Performance

Arecanut Leaf plate manufacturing

  • Raw material is procured at INR 0.5
  • Finished product is sold between INR 2 and INR 8 depending on the size
  • Products are branded as MikasalFPO
  • Supplier of arecanut leaf plates to polling stations and personnel during the General Election to the 17th Lok Sabha, 2019

Paper recycling

  • Recently started the paper recycling unit
  • Employees collect used papers, old newspapers, carton boxes, old text books and old exercise books from households, education
    institutions, govt. offices and shops
  • Recycles them into paper files, envelops, paper bags and packaging & gift packs
  • Currently giving them away as gifts as production is still small
  • Sales planned in the near future

Training

  • The hub has been able to provide training on a number of areas which so far covers
    – Leadership development, gender, administration, book keeping and various livelihood and enterprise activities across farm (Vegetable cultivation, vermin composting, piggery, poultry, diary, mango and litchi farming) and non-farm (detergent manufacturing, arecanut plate making, paper recycling, turmeric processing and cashew nut roasting) sectors.
  • 10 mobilization programmes organized
  • 48 training programmes organized including a 3 month skill development training programme
  • Members from 150 SHGs as well as more than 500 individuals provided with training in various enterprise and livelihood sectors
  • On average, 50% of trainees from the various training programmes and batches have moved on to apply the new skills and knowledge gained into their own enterprises