The e-commerce giants, Amazon and Flipkart will help in the empowerment of over 2.80 lakh women of 27,000 self-help groups (SHGs) of Himachal Pradesh by providing a wider market to showcase their original, natural and handmade products online.
The state government is planning to list these women on the Centre’s Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and on Amazon, Flipkart etc to give a mega push to women entrepreneurs, state rural development minister Virender Kanwar said on Sunday.
Kanwar said the platform will enable small artisans living in the remote, backward and snowbound tribal areas of the hill state to not only showcase their handmade products but connect them with buyers, not just from Himachal but also across the country.
“The process of uploading the SHGs products on e-commerce websites along with GeM is under progress and the products made under the umbrella brand Him-Ira will be made available on e-commerce websites to help them in getting better prices.
The necessary standardization procedure and quality tests along with paperwork are being completed expeditiously to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the women associated with SHGs,” he added.
He stated that the initiative will also integrate SHGs with the government’s public finance management system (PFMS) which would mean easy payment for their sales.
The government will also help the SHGs in branding, packaging and pricing their products to make them more marketable, besides, it will open doors of growth and ensure their business gains maximum profit.
He further stated that at present, the products made by women SHGs were being displayed for sale at government emporiums and the tourism department had also agreed to display these products at all the tourism hotels in the state free of cost.
There seems to be a huge demand for ethnic organic products ranging from dry fruits, medicinal herbs, honey, spices, millets, handicrafts and handlooms as the craze for these was increasing in metropolitan cities, he added.
At present, more than 12,000 SHGs are involved in the activities related to the production of different products in the non-farm sector and more than 15,000 SHGs are involved in farm-related activities under the ambit of the National Rural Livelihood Mission.
The varied products they make are usually sold at Him-Ira shops and weekly bazaars in the state.
Around 40 Him-IRA shops are in operation in various parts of the state and the government aims to set up around 100 such shops in all districts in the near future so as genuine, authentic and native products mainstream markets without the interference of a middle man or vendor.