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NITI Aayog evaluates SFURTI clusters

Traditional dress making and embroidery cluster, Sipajhar, a handloom cluster under Scheme for Fund Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), a revamped scheme undertaken by Ministry of MSME cluster was reviewed by the NITI Aayog on last Friday. The team was headed by Shri Abinash Dash, Joint Director, Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office, NITI Aayog, Government of India along with officials of IIE, technical agency EPCH and Implementing Agency Grib NGO. IIE Guwahati is entrusted as nodal agency of Scheme for Fund Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) and has 55 sanctioned clusters at present.

The NITI Aayog has initiated an evaluation study of SFURTI clusters. As per the design of the Study, Assam has been identified as one of the sample States. They have planned for collecting field information using structured questionnaires for various stakeholders including Artisans, Industries, Entrepreneurs, Industry Associations, officials of respective Government Departments, Implementing and technical agencies etc. 

For the purpose of evaluation the team have visited the SFURTI clusters both functional and under implementation. Sipajhar Traditional dress making and Embroidery cluster is sanctioned by the Ministry of MSME during 2019 and has been declared as a functional cluster as it has started commercial production. The Common Facility Centre is in running condition and a retail outlet store has an added initiative of this handloom cluster in consideration of marketing. 

The weavers have been provided hand holding support from SFURTI in lieu of skill development training on jacquard looms, EDP training, new product development, new design development etc through traditional dresses and materials. The team coordinated with the weavers and Special Purpose Vehicle members of the cluster and had satisfying talks with them

The NITI AAYOG team also visited the Chaygaon Agro Cluster which is situated in the rural Kamrup district of Assam. This cluster is sanctioned during 2020 and it's an under implementation cluster. The cluster is engaged mainly in production of spices like Turmeric, Black Pepper and Aromatic Joha rice etc. The NITI Aayog team have visited the CFC, associated work sheds of Chaygaon Agro Cluster and also interacted with the Implementing Agency and technical agency along with SPV members. They have praised the idea of organic cultivation of this agro cluster planned in near future.

The evaluation team urges to know about the upright awareness among the artisans about SFURTI, their involvement in the project, their income level created by SFURTI intervention, benefits of the project, problems faced by them regarding project implementation.  During their scheduled program they have been accompanied by a group of IIE Guwahati SFURTI officials. The evaluated team has appreciated the great works carried out by the SFURTI dedicated team towards the development of the clusters.