“Meat on Wheels” : A boon for the unemployed rural women groups in Irkode Village, Siddipet District of Telangana State
Being the connoisseurs of non-vegetarian foods, the people of Telangana consumes around one third of the country’s mutton. Trained under the “Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav” Programme by the scientists of the ICAR-National Research Centre on Meat, Hyderabad, the women group of Irkode Village in Siddipet District of Telangana State have become successful entrepreneurs through the production of non-vegetarian pickles and other value-added meat products. They now sell the products innovatively through the “Meat on Wheels” Van.
Irkode, a small village around 6 Kms from Siddipet town in Telangana has been adopted by the ICAR-NRC on Meat under the MGMG Programme. The majority of women in the village are poor and earn their livelihood through daily wage labors. With an aim to empower them through the entrepreneurial activities, these women were educated about the scope of marketing meat and meat products.
With the help of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), Telangana, a group of women were organized into a Joint Liability Group (JLG) and registered in the name of “Irkode Mahila Samakhya”. The ICAR-NRC on Meat provided them with the intensive hands-on-training for five days on hygienic meat production, processing, value-addition, packaging and marketing as a part of the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan Programme. After being trained, the women surveyed the area and found that they could sell the non-vegetarian pickles and snacks in different villages and in different places of Siddipet town in a mobile vehicle.
The group was provided the financial support from Shri Harish Rao, Minister of Finance, Government of Telangana representing the Siddipet Constituency for a vehicle to market the products. The ICAR-NRC on Meat designed the “Meat on Wheels” equipped with the facilities for freezing and storing the products, cooking, washing, carcass hanging, etc. The machinery for small scale processing of meat products was provided under SCSP Programme Scheme.
After obtaining the licence from Food Safety & Standards Authority of India, the group started test marketing the chicken and mutton pickles and refined the taste to suit the local palate. The group members formed themselves into three groups for looking after the raw material procurement, products preparation and marketing. After being inaugurated by Shri Rao, “Meat on Wheels” is now successfully producing and marketing the different value-added meat products and non-vegetarian pickles in “Rythu Bazaar” (Farmers’ Market) as well as surrounding villages and in different localities of Siddipet.
The women folk are now catering to bulk the orders from different places. Due to the utmost attention is being given for maintaining the quality and hygiene, the brand “Siddipet Non-Veg. Pickles” has become a hot selling product in the state within a short period. With the overwhelming response, the women group is now contemplating to foray into marketing of fresh meat to the doorsteps of consumers through the Van. The women groups and other entrepreneurs from the different parts of the state and other states are now coming eagerly to Irkode for interacting learning from the women group.
(Source: ICAR-National Research Centre on Meat, Hyderabad)