JKRLM inks MoU with CII for industry mentorship

SRINAGAR, JUNE 12: In a significant step towards empowering rural entrepreneurs, the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Wednesday to empower rural entrepreneurs through Industry Led Mentorship program.

The MoU was signed by Mission Director, JKRLM, Indu Kanwal Chib, and representatives from CII in the presence of the Secretary, Rural Development Department and Panchayati Raj, Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

Addressing the gathering, Secretary RDD commended the JKRLM team for their self-motivation and the inspiring work they have been doing. He expressed gratitude to the Mission Director, JKRLM, and her entire team for their efforts and assured them of the department’s support in capacity building and other areas.

Dr. Shahid also acknowledged the significant contribution of the program to public health and extended his compliments to both JKRLM and CII for their collaborative efforts toward empowering rural communities.

The collaboration between JKRLM and CII is expected to provide a significant boost to the rural entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir, enabling rural women to access industry expertise, market linkages, and guidance to scale up their businesses and contribute to the region’s economic growth.

The collaboration aims to implement the Industry Led Mentorship Program, which will focus on bridging the gap between rural enterprises and the industry. Through this program, CII will conduct gap analysis and establish a state-level aggregator for Self-Help Groups (SHGs) engaged in the tourism and food processing sectors.

One of the key objectives of the program is to provide mentorship and training to JKRLM staff and community cadres. This initiative will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively support and guide rural entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the program will facilitate market linkages, branding, and raw material sourcing for SHGs involved in the tourism and food processing sectors, enabling them to enhance their competitiveness and accelerate growth.

Indu Kanwal Chib expressed her gratitude to Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary for his unwavering support and commitment to the mission’s initiatives. She commended his approval for establishing JKRLM’s own offices and training centers in every district, which will provide a dedicated space for rural women entrepreneurs to work and learn.

Indu Chib highlighted the significance of collaboration with CII, emphasizing that it will facilitate a gap analysis to identify the challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs and provide them with the necessary guidance and resources to scale up their businesses. She further said that JKRLM has identified tourism and food processing as the two key sectors for the initial phase of collaboration. She said that these entrepreneurs often face limitations due to the lack of proper guidance, branding, and licensing information. The collaboration with CII aims to address these challenges by providing expert mentorship and equipping entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and skills to expand their businesses legally and sustainably. She shared data on the existing food processing units under JKRLM, with approximately 2698 units in Jammu and 2803 units in Kashmir.

MD, JKSRLM drew attention to the potential of the dairy industry, suggesting that JKRLM could aim to reach the level of success achieved by brands like Verka in Punjab. She highlighted the opportunity to diversify dairy products and explore areas such as milk, curd, paneer, chocolate, and other value-added products. She highlighted other focus areas, including mushrooms, spices, pickles, dry fruits, pomegranate, flour, sattu (roasted gram flour), bakery items, cereals, nutritious food products, and animal feed and fodder.

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