Success story of a Livelihood promotion thru’ a group approach. Fiber product industry launched by a Producer Group in Katchchilaimadu – village in Mullathivu Dstrict.
Since 2009, noteworthy investments have been made by varied financiers and the Government in recovery and relief efforts under the post-war context in the Northern region. It was obvious that restoration of infrastructure and fulfilling physical needs had given priority. As a result a visible progress of improved Roads, schools, hospitals, and housing was perceptible. However, the economic well-being in particular of the low income families, demanded equal priority Accordingly the prioritized focus on growth and employment is a key area needing attention of the authorities, companies and the agencies in the non-governmental sector committed for socio-economic well-being of low income families. RAHAMA is one of the humanitarian action based organizations assisting help needy communities within the last decade in the Northern region. Through wide-ranging fact finding missions and in consultation with Div. Secretaries / CSO leaders RAHAMA could comprehend that many unemployed women are willing to join the product group concept. Accordingly RAHAMA assisted a group of 22 women in low income families in the Katchchilaimadu village on Mullathivu District.
Northern districts are prominent for Palmyra products. Thus, an agency named Women society Kactchilaimadu had started a Palmyra product center in Katchchilaimadu in 2015 with the funding support of USAID and the product group was consisted by 22 unemployed women. The block of land being used for this industry was owned by the Palm Products Co-op Society. After a year the donor discontinued its financial support in 2016 and the industry could not survive thereafter. Due to some reasons the guiding institution might not have a viable business plan with cash flow projection hence, the industry became inactive due to short of capital. Eventually, the product group became jobless and the building and equipment were idling for 2 years without any productivity.
Nevertheless, with the leadership of Mrs. Luckyrani, the leader of the product group could enter into an agreement with the management of the cooperative to re-commence the industry followed by the support of an agency. The product group realized the continuous availability of raw material (fiber), the need of a viable business plan added with the supplementary data on COP, cash flow projection feasibility of selling rate etc. and in particular the financial support to run the industry
At this juncture, the product group could meet RAHAMA and brought up their grievances and requested support to recommence the industry. RAHAMA in consultation with the district authorities, co-operative officials and the buyers of finished products agreed to assist the Palmyra industry. As a result the industry was started on January 2021 with direct and indirect participation of 25 males and females.
When the consistency of product sale is concerned a leading factory in RAVI industries at Ja-ela with overseas buyers agreed to buy the product with the facility of deliveries too. . There is a steady agreement entered into between the product group and the buyers. Accordingly, one kg of the end product of coir fiber is sold @ Rs 350/-. Whereas, the total cost of production of one kilo of fiber is Rs. 245/- After 03 months of operation, average income derivable by a woman per a month is Rs. 5,500/=.
Another positive indicator is that 7 men and 3 women joined the industry as suppliers of fiber which was a good indicator. The product group together with the group leader shared information as a regular process, with RAHAMA, enabling the team to manage the industry in a viable manner. The team also could add few more value added products and their monthly target is to produce 500/= kg. Of fiber coir product in this respect the sole intention of RAHAMA is to assist this product team to widen their skills and capacities to evolve new technicalities as well to improve the quality and demands of each product.