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Union Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste inaugurates the Saras Food Festival-2022

New Delhi, October 28, 2022 : Government today said that efforts are on to have at least 25% of all sales by women self-help groups through e-commerce portals annually.

This was stated by Union Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste, while inaugurating “SARAS FOOD FESTIVAL, 2022”. On this occasion, the Minister also launched the e-commerce portal www.esaras.in for better and more effective marketing of Saras products prepared by women of self-help groups.

The Minister of State for Steel and Rural Development, Shri Faggansingh Kulaste inaugurating the “SARAS FOOD FESTIVAL, 2022”, in New Delhi on October 28, 2022.

Shri Kulaste said, Ministry of Rural Development will take steps to establish Saras stalls by women SHGs in all State capitals, major cities and metros, airports and railway stations for widening the reach of marketing. He said, more and more people will be exposed to ethnic and home-made handicrafts, paintings, toys, food and other items. The Minister said, each women beneficiary must save at least one lakh rupees per annum through sale of local products.

Referring to Atmanirbhar pitch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shri Kulaste said, today the best products of SHGs are also being exported in different countries and there is a need for more and more awareness campaign both locally and globally about their niche products through e-commerce platforms and other avenues.  He also suggested that efforts must be made to identify the challenges with the existing products, their packaging and branding.

The Minister pointed out that today, women self-help groups are associated with Mid-Day meal scheme, Har Ghar Nal se Jal yojana and there is need to provide them gainful avenues in other schemes of the Central Government.

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development said that there are about 8 crore 62 lakh women are members of SHGs and they have presence in 97% of Blocks, while 85 % of them are directly connected with the network of the Ministry. He said, the Ministry has already signed agreements with e-commerce giants like Amazon, and Flipkart and there have been efforts by States/UTs also in getting SHGs products registered on e-commerce platforms. e.g, Flipkart, Amazon and Meesho etc.

Shri Sinha advised the SHGs and craftsmen to understand consumer’s demand to improve the products. He said the Ministry will give publicity to the Mela through advertisement and SMS marketing so that all participants will get a chance to showcase their products to a large number of audiences. He said, Delhi is a melting pot of diverse cultures in India and people here will get access to their ethnic and own soil products both through online and physical platforms

Later, Shri Faggan Singh kulaste also met with members of women’s self-help groups and appreciated their products.

The Saras Food Festival-2022 has been organized in the national capital by the Union Ministry of Rural Development from 28th October, 2022 to 10th November, 2022 at Handicraft Bhawan, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi.

The Saras Food Festival is a unique example of women’s empowerment. Women from self-help groups, formed under the flagship program ‘National Rural Livelihoods Mission’ of the Union Ministry of Rural Development are participating in this festival. This is an initiative of the Union Ministry of Rural Development as an effort to empower women on a large scale.

About 150 women entrepreneurs and members of self-help groups from 18 states are participating in this event which gives them an opportunity to showcase their skills in the field of food making and introduce people to the food culture of our country. These SHG women are proficient in making rural products and preparing traditional dishes of their states. Other skilled people across the country are also participating in this grand event.

People who came to the festival also showed their interest to know how different types of food from across the states are being prepared. People coming to the festival can taste the flavours of delicious cuisine from 18 states also. These cuisines include, Kair Sagari, Gatte ki Sabzi, Bajra Roti from Rajasthan, Hilsa Fish Curry from West Bengal, Chicken from Telangana, Malabar Biryani from Kerala, Litti Chokha from Bihar, Sarso da Saag and Makke ki Roti from Punjab and famous food from other states. People can also taste the delicious dishes from Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Gujarat in this food festival.

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