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ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT/SPIN-OFFS

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All the activities to be undertaken under the mission program are directed to build entrepreneurship among farmers, technically skilled and trained unemployed youth and women. As the mission, activities would result in enhancement of area under cultivation of aromatic crops; it may lead to a constant requirement of authentic planting material of superior varieties in large quantities. Therefore, there will be an opportunity for the farmers to develop this activity of agri-business for higher profits; the returns from the sale of planting material are generally higher than the essential oil produced from a similar area. Some checks to establish the purity of varieties may be essential, which would be carried out by the scientists of participating institutes.

The harvested material of the aromatic crops have to undergo a distillation process for extraction of essential oils, which are the main economic constituents of the crop. It is estimated that after 3 years of the programme, around 1.0 lakh tons of herbage would be produced annually, which may subsequently increase with the increase in area under cultivation. This huge amount of herbage would require distillation facilities, which will provide an entrepreneurship opportunity to unemployed youth to establish their own units. As a good amount of investment is required to establish this facility and it will not be possible for an average farmer to setup his own unit, it can be extended to the farmers for distilling their herbs on rental basis, providing an income generation source for the entrepreneurs.

The essential oils coming out of these units can be an excellent raw material for the food, fragrance and flavor industries, who can establish their own collection centres around the clusters with a clear cut, buy back linkages established under this mission program, which will also ensure that farmers get a fair price of their produce. In this area also, efforts would be made to develop new entrepreneurs who would be directly linked to the large business houses. Further opportunities also exists to fractionate these oils into high value aroma compounds/molecules which have a high demand in national and international markets providing an opportunity to the technically skilled/trained manpower to establish a high value export oriented aroma business.

There had been an increased awareness and use of natural aroma molecules in the various sectors like health, hygiene, pharma, cosmetics, food, etc and a number of products based on these are becoming popular. New entrepreneurs, who can establish a small infrastructure, would be encouraged to enter into this business sector of product development. An initial handholding would be provided to the budding entrepreneurs to use the incubator facilities of the participating institutes along with requisite technical help. This would enable the entrepreneur to formulate, produce and market its products without initially investing a huge amount of investment.

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