Thursday, June 20, 2024

Dimapur DC inaugurates regional SARAS fair

SARAS fair

Dimapur, September 20: The 6th Regional Sale of Articles of Rural Artisans Society (SARAS) Fair was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur Sachin Jaiswal at Dimapur Club, Midland on Wednesday.
The event serves as a platform for local artisans and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to showcase, sell, and export their products directly to customers, eliminating middlemen from the equation.
Speaking as the special guest, Jaiswal expressed delight at being surrounded by dedicated SHGs who provide for their families through their craft. He noted that a significant portion of the Naga population is engaged in agriculture and related activities, producing naturally organic products.
However, challenges such as the lack of cold storage, market connections, and bulk production have led to higher product prices. He encouraged SHGs and artisans to strive for competitiveness in the premium organic products sector.
Jaiswal highlighted the importance of obtaining Food Safety Standard Authority India (FSSAI) certification, emphasising that it not only enhances brand visibility but also facilitates access to bank loans. He urged SHGs to explore loans under the Chief Minister Micro Finance Scheme for purchasing transportation vehicles. Additionally, he encouraged active participation in social media and diverse advertising platforms to reach a global audience.
Imtimenla, Mission Director of Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), shared that the fair’s primary objective is to unite local artisans and SHGs on a platform that promotes sales and exports directly to consumers. She stressed that such fairs offer maximum exposure to SHGs, fostering healthy competition and mutual learning.
Imtimenla also mentioned that selected SHGs with potential are sent to National SARAS Fairs across India, where they can showcase and sell their products.
Imtimenla disclosed that NRLM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Health & Family Welfare to secure Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) certification for the NRLM brand, “Womenfolk.”
This certification will include detailed information on ingredients, nutritional values, and shelf life on product packaging. She encouraged SHGs to maintain the highest product quality and seek assistance from NRLM officials when needed.
The SARAS Fair is an initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, and is organized by the Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development, Nagaland. This fair is held twice a year.
The fair featured 37 participants from 16 districts of Nagaland, along with one representative from Meghalaya. The SARAS Fair will run from September 20 to 25, from 9 am to 6 pm.
(Page News Service)