Ajithamaniamma- House wife tuned agripreneure thorough value addition of under exploited fruits and vegetables.
We all know that quality is the sum total of parameters of a product that fulfill the needs of the consumers. Now days there are many powerful systems of government to maintain quality and ensure food safety in the processed food products. It is the duty of the producer to assure the set of required characteristics that meet the customer’s needs and expectations. Unfortunately 90% of the up-coming SHG based food processing units are ignorant about the pre-requisites for maintaining uniform quality standards of food products produced by them. It intern adversely affect the marketing of SHG based food products.
During the reporting period, KVK took initiative to train the rural youth to develop them as entrepreneurs of food processing sector with special reference to quality control measures and effective marketing strategies. As part of this venture, KVK formulated its own Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) based on standards available as a guideline for home scale / cottage scale manufacturers to ensure uniform quality, food safety during processing, packaging and labeling.
Smt. Ajithamaniamma C.K, Nithin Nivas Thazhom P.O, Malayalapuzha a Self Help Group member of Kudumbasree has set an example about how to run home scale food processing unit following Good Manufacturing Practice. She attended 6 months Gardeners training at KVK in the year 2007-2008. Thereafter, she had under gone the IGNOU training on “Awareness Programme on Value added products from fruits and Vegetables“. She also attended training sessions on quality control and marketing at KVK. She started a home scale processing unit of under exploited locally available fruits and vegetables.KVK rendered necessary technical help especially in GMP, labeling and marketing.
Smt. Ajithamaniamma took care special in maintaining personal hygiene and raw material. With the help rendered by KVK she used to asses both external and internal quality of the raw material selected. She prepared flow charts of preparatory method for every product with the help of KVK personnel. Good Manufacturing Practices like inspection of raw materials, dress code of worker, sterilized and eco-friendly packaging materials, and proper storage temperature were also maintaining in her registered unit at Grama Panchayath.
She is maintaining proper records for processing and post –production works. She uses KVK designed Thanima brand label for the products, KVK issues the entrepreneurs the labels based on the quality assessment of the product. To ensure total quality of the product KVK extended its processing lab facility to the entrepreneur so that direct monitoring of processing of product and quality is assured.
Though the continuous and sincere efforts made, Ajithamaniamma was able to guarantee production of safe food and thereby saved money. According to her, the benefits of GMP are:
· Quality goods
· Consistency and uniformity of manufacturing items.
· Efficiency through both documentation and communication.
· Better marketing and customer satisfaction. She has the marketing facility through the outlets of;
o Thanima (monthly market of KVK)
o Kudumbasree (monthly market)
o Eco-shop (outlet by Dept. of Agriculture)
o KVK sales counter at Head quarters.
Many other groups are coming forward to follow GMP after the success of Smt. Ajithamaniamma. Now she is taking classes and conducting demonstrations for interested women groups. In a week, she is working 4days for processing related activities two days for Gardner’s programme for institutions and private parties. Smt. Ajithamaniamma directly employed one women staff for the help in minor activities, sales, purchase, etc. The net profit received by her per month through selling of processed products is of Rs.3000/.
Smt. Ajithamaniamma is a SHG model women entrepreneur for an SHG who strives to provide customers with quality products at comparative affordable rates.