Micro food processing enterprises in Palghar and Thane districts can now upgrade their local products such as Sapota fudge and powder, Kharvadi, Barnyard Millet (Vari) feni, Naglipapad, bhajani and masala mix and desire to grow bigger by reaching newer markets for vending off their products. The PM FME Scheme, introduced in 2020, has made this possible. Fascinatingly, it espouses One District One Product (ODOP) strategy.

The PM FME (PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises) Scheme, a centrally sponsored scheme, was launched by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), in collaboration with the state/UT Governments, as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It focusses at providing financial, technical and business assistance for reformation of existing micro food processing enterprises. An amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been invested in the scheme for a period of five years starting from 2020 till 2025.

Swati Deodhar Singh, District Resource Person-Maharashtra, PM FME Scheme informed- “The scheme is not targeted at food companies, it is actually for expanding the scope, strengthening and mobilizing rural, semi-urban, and urban household level or micro level food enterprises. This is a scheme that is targeted long term at bringing out Indian companies from small or micro enterprises.”

She further said- “The main thing is value addition for existing food processing micro enterprises. For example – There is a specialty product from Palghar which is a salty snack like papad, and can be fried and eaten along with your meal. This type of food forms a type of local cuisine or local processed food which requires consumer awareness. The specially trained officials will train and help these types of micro enterprise owners to have more hygienic practices, systematic production of products, market identification, more customer focus, and be able to put their products up in the market, in order to reach more consumers, thereby, enhancing ‘Make in India’.”

The scheme adopts One District One Product approach to reap benefits of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products. “ODOP is a function that is designed around specific products. For example – If someone wants these grants from Palghar and Thane, then the focus has to be designed around Chickoo crops, and Barnyard Millet (Vari), respectively. This ensures all major chickoo enterprises and vari enterprises come from Palghar and Thane, and so on for different districts,” added Ms. Singh.

The scheme will very soon unveil a special provision, which incorporates each state or two and three states together form a pilot plan/training center type of setup. If there are cereals or millet processing centers, Government will give the grant aid, and foster the products via several means such that each farmer and micro enterprise owner can put up his product, and try other products.

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