SEWA
Self Employed Women’s Association
 
 
PART – B
 
  SEWA’S UNITS
 
- The Urban Union
- The Rural Union
- Jeevika
- Jeevan Shala
- The Federation of Co-operatives
- SEWA Social Security Net
- SEWA Bank
- SEWA Academy
- SEWA Bharat
- SEWA Accounts
   
  7. SEWA Marketing Support
  7.1 SEWA Gram Mahile Haat
  Introduction
   
  2/3rd of SEWA’s members are rural agriculture workers and they face several problems related to income security, social security and job security. SEWA has organised agriculture workers and made them aware of their rights. Now, they are aware of their role in this field and have even increased their bargaining power.

Keeping the above-mentioned problems of the members in view, SEWA Gram Mahila Haat (SGMH), a state level Apex marketing organisation of SEWA was founded with the help of Commissionerate of Rural Development, Govt. of Gujarat and SEWA in 1999 to eliminate middlemen and provide direct technical, financial and marketing facilities to women. SEWA Gram Mahila Haat now reaches out to markets all over the country for its agricultural products.

SGMH aims at providing integrated marketing services to the rural producers through exploring, developing & establishing first the internal (local market) and then the national market for rurally produced products. Gram Haat has focused on four sectors: agriculture, salt, forest produces and handloom/ handicrafts, as members in these sectors constitute a large proportion of SEWA’s membership.
   
  The vision of SEWA Gram Mahila Haat
   
  “SEWA Gram Mahila Haat is to be a leading local, national and international fair trade organization and believes that the member’s just do not remain workers but also become the owners and managers of their own trades. Thus the membership has a purpose. The organisation has a social and economic relevance for its members and active role in improving the conditions of its members.”
   
  Focus
   
  Gram Haat has focused on four sectors: Agriculture, Salt, Forest Produces, Handloom & Handicrafts as members in these sectors constitute a large proportion of SEWA’ s membership. Ranging from cereals to medicinal plants the linkage of farmers to the market can result in a profitable business to the members.

As per the market demand and the productivity of the rural producers a market is available at the Urban and semi-urban areas. This will enable the under privileged members to get value for their produces which otherwise is very marginal when sold through middlemen.

The objectives of SEWA Gram Mahila Haat

- To provide marketing facilities and services to district associations.
- To provide managerial and technical support services to the district associations.
- To provide working capital assistance to district associations.
- To enable the rural producers to earn a minimum regular income of Rs. 3000/- per month. u To facilitate the producers to become owner as well as managers of their collective enterprises.

SEWA Gram Mahila Haat does not limit itself to providing market linkages only. It provides technical inputs to improve the marketability of the products; actively promotes advanced and modern techniques of production to tackle the widespread problem of low and substandard productivity in the informal sector.
The world’s economy is changing rapidly. Globalization of the economy is spreading in the formal and informal economy. The terms of trade and business are changing more rapidly and in many ways. To avoid the negative impact of these changes and if possible gain from these changes, there is a need of an organisation such as SGMH.
   
  Major Achievements
   
  During the year 2004-05 Gram Haat achieved the following direct sales
   
 
Sr. No. Activity Total Sales (Rs.)*
1 Salt 80,25,143
2 Agriculture- Sesame 32,93,591
3 Mid day meal 20,17,072
4 RUDI 7,20,000
5 Gum 71,588
6 Seeds supply 20,911
   
  7.1.3 Areas Of Activities
   
  a) Salt
   
 
- There was an overall improvement in the quality and production of salt. The production increased from 33,000 MT to 60,000 MT as compared to the last year.
- The Agarias also able to produce from 400 MT to 1000 MT.
- New markets tie up with Sabar Dairy for supply of edible salt has been initiated apart from the existing buyers i.e. GACL and DCW.
- Capacity building trainings were imparted to Agarias on how to improve the quality of salt by brine management and other technical method, with the help of CSMCRI (Central Salt and Marine Research Institute)
- Due to the training imparted there has been an overall quality enhancement and technical up gradation, which facilitates the product to compete in the market.
- Exposure visits of the Agarias were conducted through out the year so that they could better understand the market scenario and feel its importance w.r.t. their production.
- By-product plant was set up at Kharagoda i.e. Cornaite Processing Plant for proper utilization of the wastage. This led to generation of additional employment opportunities as well as income generation.
- Salt grinding unit set up at Kharagoda CLC (Community Learning Center) to create additional employment opportunities.
- Additional laboratory was set up for salt testing at Kharagoda that led to generation of employment opportunities at various levels.
   
  b) Gum
   
  Though gum is considered as a minor forest product it has become a source of income for the women working in the dry areas of Banaskantha district of Gujarat. To build the capacity of these gum collectors training were imparted on how to grade the collected gums and to store it properly, this facilitated them to get better returns for the produce.

With the increasing demand of gum, Gujarat State Forest Corporation (GSFC) hiked the prices of gum and consequently the gum collectors got better prices according to the variety of gum. The price increased from Rs15/- to Rs 20/- and in some cases Rs. 25/- to be competitive in the market.

Tie-ups have been established with new buyers such as Gujarat Ayurvedic Vikas Mandal, Hindustan Hing Supply etc. for supplying them various qualities of gum in bulk.

Overall the production of gum has been decreased due to heavy rains and gum collectors getting an alternative source of employment as farm labourer. Besides this Government has legalized cutting down the gum trees for making of coal and so it also has affected the production of gum.
   
  c) Handloom
   
  The quality of the Handlooms has been improved to a great extent. Apart from the improvement in the quality the product ranges have been also increased. For example, initially we had only bed sheet, but now we have also included matching pillow cover in our product range. The product range is also increased in case of Duppattas, different designs of Saree and dress material.

Capacity building training was imparted to the weavers by Gram Haat that further led to improvement in the quality to a large extent. Gram Haat also imparted training on how to pack the handlooms for improved appearance and protecting the products from being exposed to the dust.
   
  d) Agriculture
   
  During the year 2004-05 the major activity was supply of sesame seeds to the ITC from Surendranagar district of Gujarat. Gram Haat also expanded its sesame procurement to a new block, Limdi in the same district.

Krishi bazaar was organized at Ahmedabad for more than a week to facilitate the marketing of all the agricultural products starting from direct products like wheat to processed products like lemon squash. The Bazaar was successful in increasing the bargaining power of the women producers and in building awareness of various commodities as per their quality. Milled wheat had shown good market prospectus along with RUDI products in demand.

Wheat marketing was a new experience for Gram Haat that enabled it understand the cost parameters involved in procuring agriculture commodity from various districts at a time other than benefiting small and marginal women farmers.

Along with the marketing, procurement of Cumin was done from Ahmedabad district enabling the farmers to get market price at the doorstep. Cumin like other products is being cleaned packed and marketed through RUDI women in various districts.
   
  7.1.4 Maketing Activities
   
  During the year 2004-05 Gram Haat participated in fairs and exhibitions at the National as well as Domestic level. Participation in various fairs and exhibitions facilitated in improved marketing of the produce, which generated income for the members.

Among the major ones, it participated in Sales exhibitions at Wardha - Wardhan Rural Science Congress at Wardha, Maharashtra. This institute is based upon Gandhian Philosophy. It also took part in Mahakaushal Association of Women Entrepreneurs (MAWE) Exhibition in Jabalpur of Madhya Pradesh. Participation in these marketing stalls and exhibitions gave better insights to our producers to know where we stand and where we have to go.

At the State level Gram Haat participated in Kevadiya at Bharuch District of Gujarat. This organisation is based upon Gandhian philosophy. Gram Haat also participated in major sales events at Rajkot, Rajpipla, Talod, Tarnetar, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha, and Banaskantha etc. Apart from participating in big exhibitions sales is also being done at local level i.e. on village level during the year 2004-05.

At the State level Gram Haat facilitated in organizing SARAS MELA, which is a national level marketing exhibition conducted by Department of Rural Development Agency (DRDA). Gram Haat evaluated the entire exhibition and suggestions were given for the coming exhibitions. The evaluation included daily sales analysis, consumers feed back, sales persons’ view and State Coordinators suggestions. There was a sellers and buyers meet organized by Gram Haat to bring the bulk buyers nearer to the sales person.

During the exhibition Gram Haat also provided a national level sales training to the DRDA Sales person at SARAS, 2004 to all the participants all over India. In another instance it also provided a state level sales training to the members of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). Both the trainings were greatly appreciated by the sales persons and the results were clearly visible during the exhibition.
   
  7.1.5 RUDI Bazaar – Rural Distribution Network
   
  During the year 2004-05, Gram Haat initiated the Rural Distribution Network for the procurement and sales of the rurally produced goods under the brand name of RUDI. The products include cereals, pulses, spices and other products used on daily basis such as Tea and Sugar. The products are procured, processed, packed and sold by the SEWA’s members. The pack starts from Rs.2 onwards. At the initial phase it has been piloted in Sabarkantha District in more than 120 villages. The prime objective is to create multiple employment opportunities at every level.
   
 
   
  7.2 SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre
  7.2.1 Introduction
   
  STFC is a major initiative with thrust on production and marketing of craft products. Registered under Sec. 25 of Indian Companies Act on March 26th 2003, STFC is incorporated as a business for a cause company. It has a unique business model for poverty alleviation whereby the company is owned by the disaster-affected artisans themselves. The artisans, who themselves are the shareholders of STFC elect the Board of Directors which once again comprises of artisans and a few members of other organisations. The working capital for producing craft items is provided for by STFC and the profits generated from the sale of the products are retained by the organization for the benefit of the artisans. The artisans generate income for their livelihood in the form of wages for the labour provided to add value to the product. This is an innovative and effective mechanism for providing livelihood security to marginalised workers through the creation of a business entity, a notion that could easily be deployed across the globe as a blueprint for poverty reduction.
   
  Vision
   
  Ensure that craftswomen in the informal sector have socio-economic security and full employment, achieved through sustained, profitable, and efficient coordination of design, production and marketing of their products and services.
   
  Objectives
   
 
- Achieving the position of pride and satisfaction for the work of women from Unorganised Sector in global markets.
- Maximising income of women artisans in the Marketing context
- Acquiring and maintaining position of leadership as the global marketing arm of the women of Unorganised Sector from India.
- Provide marketing and market exposure along with support in quality improvement through technology and positive aptitude, global and national linkages with the consumer and export-facilitating institute.
   
  7.2.2 Marketing Efforts oF STFC
   
 
Detail Amount Rs
Total Sale 1,15,24,809
Retail Sale 30,30,923
Craft 24,21,397
Taj-Nandika 6,08,922
Order Sale 39,45,176
Exhibition Sale 45,49,314
   
 
  Achieved sales: Rs.1,15,24,809/-
  Total pieces made – 50,000 for both the districts.
  New samples Developed – 350 Total Payment to Artisans – Rs.48,48,478/-
  Number of artisans given work – 4441 artisans.
   
  7.2.3 Progress Achieved
   
 
- Achieved daily sales of Rs. 32,000/-
- Banascraft became profitable – Daily sales of Rs.8,000/-
- Linkages with organised retailers.
- Established partnership with Fab India for design and market support.
- Hired market research agency for national market research and market strategy.
- Participated in Forum Barcelona
- New updated website has been launched, received good response.
- Total sales increased by 30.8% from last year, and 7.7 % increase in Banascraft sales, 141% increase in Nandika (Taj) sales, 76.2% in Orders and 5.7% in Exhibition sale.  
   
 
Particulars Patan Kutch Total
No. of Shareholders 1,728 1,772 3,500
Employed Artisans 600 600 1200
Income (Rs. Avg. monthly) 700 700 64,20,978
Trainings: Skill up gradation training 375 275 650
Spearhead team training 40 40 80
Educational tour Artisans (Jaipur) 20 18 38
Mandal training villages 6 9 15
Gandhinagar production Centre villages 9 6 15
Common production centre 22 32 54
   
  Capacity Building Trainings to Artisans:
   
  Targeted artisans for training: 600 Achieved target: 650
   
 
- 650 artisans received Skill Up-Gradation Trainings.
- 3 Managerial and 3 Technical trainings were carried out to train spearhead team.
- 40 Common Production Centers were started at the village level.
- 2 District Organiser’s Training was carried out during the year.
- Orientation to Village Development Committee was carried out in 15 villages.
- Various internal/external exposures were held during the year in which one external exposure took place at Jaipur and fifteen internal exposures took place at Gandhinagar Production Centre in addition to that five internal exposures took place at various craft museum in Ahmedabad.
   
  Target of starting COMMON PRODUCTION CENTRES – 40 villages Achieved Target: 54 villages
   
  Capacity Building to the Grass-root Organisations of Developing Countries:
   
  STFC has received demand for Micro Enterprise Development and Management Trainings from different organisations.
   
 
- 12 organisations from Afghanistan have received training programme from STFC - affiliation with World Bank
- A team of senior project managers of Malawi, Tanzania, and Ethiopia of East African countries supported by World Bank received the training programme.
- South Asian Countries in affiliation with UNIFEM – Nepal, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
- VSHLI group from Srilanka invited STFC for initiating income generating activities, setting up Para Professionals School.
- Capacity building to Afghanistan and Bangladesh through video conferencing.
- Conducted workshop on market readiness for the HomeNet South Asia and SEWA Bharat. First hand market research in Pakistan for organising Crafts Mela in Pakistan.
   
 
 
Self Employed Women's Association
SEWA Reception Centre, Opp. Victoria Garden, Bhadra, Ahmedabad - 380 001. India.
Phone : 91-79-25506444 / 25506477 / 25506441, Fax : 91 - 79 - 25506446, Email :mail@sewa.org
     
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