Riding high on domestic and global demand of traditional Indian homemade snacks, accompaniments and condiments such as pickles, papads, jam, spices and honey, the micro, small and medium (MSME) sector has registered an almost four-fold growth in gross output in rural areas over a five-year period.
The fourth all-India census report of MSMEs shows the gross output of MSMEs in rural areas was Rs.68,289 crore in 2001-02, which increased to Rs.242,000 crore in 2006-07 — a growth of 255%.
“Despite overall slowdown, the MSME sector witnessed growth in rural industries due to the growing demand for the products of khadi and village industries both in India and abroad, and also due to entrepreneurship training programme in rural areas for cottage and micro industries,” an MSME ministry official said.
The domestic sale of khadi and village industries products in 2009-10 was Rs.24,000 crore, an increase of Rs.9000 crore over 2005-06. “The growth is also due to the increasing demand for consumable products and rural crafts in foreign market because of the indigenousness of these products,” a KVIC official said.
The report shows that the percentage share of gross output of rural industries in the total gross output increased from 33.6% in 2001-02 to 34.28% in 2006-07.
The number of rural industries grew by 45% in five years. “The National Small Industries Corporation’s (NSIC) role has been that of a facilitator for the entrepreneurs, which resulted in growth to this sector in a big way, as we gave lot of impetus on providing hand-holding support to small entrepreneurs in form of training as well,” NSIC chairman and managing director, HP Kumar said.