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Promoting Female Entrepreneurs Through The ‘Womenfolk’ Brand

The 6th Regional Sale of Articles of Rural Artisans Society (SARAS) fair has begun at the Dimapur Club premises in Nagaland, India. The six-day fair, organized by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, aims to promote rural artisans, women entrepreneurs, and Self-Help Group (SHG) members by providing a platform to market their products within and outside their regions.

The fair features stalls from the 16 districts of Nagaland and one from Meghalaya, showcasing a range of locally sourced products under the brand name ‘Womenfolk.’ The initiative is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development, Nagaland, and the Nagaland State Rural Livelihoods Mission (NSRLM).

Imtimenla, Mission Director of NSRLM, stated that the objective of the SARAS Fair is to provide maximum exposure for SHG products, tap into untapped markets, eliminate middlemen, and increase income for SHGs. The fair also offers an opportunity to promote and showcase Nagaland’s traditions and culture while motivating SHGs to exhibit and sell their traditional products.

Imtimenla encouraged healthy competition among SHGs to participate in larger platforms like SARAS outside the state and attract buyers willing to purchase in bulk. She emphasized the importance of maintaining quality and hygiene while promoting the ‘Womenfolk’ brand.

Sachin Jaiswal, Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, highlighted the need for SHGs and artisans to compete in the premium organic products sector. He mentioned challenges such as the lack of cold storage facilities, market connections, and bulk production but commended the dedication of SHG members, especially women, in providing for their families through small businesses. Jaiswal stressed the importance of obtaining Food Safety Standard Authority India (FSSAI) certification to enhance brand visibility and facilitate access to bank loans.

The fair offers a wide range of products, including processed foods, handicrafts, handlooms, fresh vegetables, millets, pulses, meat pickles, flowers, fruits, jewelry, accessories, and everyday commodities. With approximately 1.2 lakh registered women under NSRLM, the fair aims to boost their economic prospects and promote local products.

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