Himachal to link 27,000 self-help groups with online platforms

Himachal to link 27,000 self-help groups with online platforms
Virender Kanwar. (File Photo: IANS)

Shimla, Sep 19 (IANS) To provide a wider market to products made by 27,000 self-help groups comprising 2.80 lakh women, Himachal Pradesh will link all of them with the e-commerce platforms of the Central government and private companies, state Rural Development Minister Virender Kanwar said on Sunday.

The platform will enable small artisans living in the remote backward areas to showcase their handmade products to the market, globally.

The process of uploading the products through government e-marketplace (GeM) is under progress, he said. Likewise, the products of self-help groups made under the brand Him Ira will also be made available on private e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart.

The necessary standardization procedure and quality tests are being completed to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the self-help groups.

This would also integrate the self-help groups with the government's public finance management system, which would mean easy payment for their sales, said the minister.

The government will also help them in branding, packaging and pricing their products to make them more marketable. The new platform will open doors of revenue generation.

Currently the products are being displayed for sale at government emporiums.

The Tourism Department has also agreed to display their products at all their hotels free of cost.

There is a huge demand for ethnic organic products like dry fruits, medicinal herbs, honey, spices, handicrafts and handlooms among those living in metros.

As per government records, more than 12,000 self-help groups are involved in activities other than farm products and some 15,000 doing farm-related activities under the ambit of the National Rural Livelihood Mission.

The products they make are usually sold in 40 Him Ira shops, each having an average sale of Rs 45,000 per month. The government aims to set up 100 more such shops.

In addition, a weekly market is organised at the segment level in which women can sell their products directly to customers.