UP signs MoU with UN for take-home-ration

Lucknow, Sep 9 (IANS) Take-Home ration will now be manufactured and supplied through women self-help groups (SHGs) in Uttar Pradesh. The state rural livelihood mission (SRLM) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN World Food Programme for this.

Around 200 women SHG enterprises are expected to gain business with Rs 1,200 crore annual turnover through this collaboration.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that this will almost double the loans received by the SHGs in 20 years.

He said that the plan is to initiate local production of take-home-ration at the block level with back-up of the extensive SHG network of the rural livelihood mission covering 18 districts, 204 blocks and 42,228 anganwadi centres.

Eighteen districts which would be covered under the project include Aligarh, Ambedkar Nagar, Aurraiya, Baghpat, Banda, Bijnor, Chandauli, Etawah, Fatehpur, Gorakhpur, Kannauj, Kheri, Lucknow, Mainpuri, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Sultanpur and Unnao.

Later, all 75 districts straddling 825 blocks are proposed to be covered under the programme.

The Chief Minister, according to the government spokesman, said, that the SHG network will help reach at least 33.78 lakh beneficiaries to provide 240 days of livelihood to each woman.

Under the Startup Village Entrepreneurship Project (SVEP) as many as 20,689 women have been linked to small industries.

“The idea is to enable a woman from a poor family to get associated with an SHG and raise capacity and financial capabilities which would help them move out of poverty,” said the Chief Minister.

He said, the programme would make women independent and check harassment.

Under the programme, SRLM would attain technological know-how from the UN world food programme and a nutrition plant would be established in Bighapur developmental block of Unnao and Malawan development block of Fatehpur.

Besides, food technologists at the state level and regional coordinator in three to four districts would be appointed.

The UN world food programme has helped women SHGs in Kerala, Rajasthan and Odisha.

The objective of the programme is also to fulfil food requirement under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

“Under SRLM, selected women SHGs have been turned into micro-enterprises which have a bank account. The scheme would allow 3,000 women SHGs to become enterprises and would get self-employment with a monthly income between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000,” the Chief Minister said.

He further said that the SHGs came in handy in the battle against the pandemic.

Women SHGs have made 94.26 lakh masks, over 50,000 PPE kits, 25.9 lakh school dress and around 14,000 litres of sanitizers in the pandemic.

Bishow Parajuli, country director, United Nations World Food Programme, said the primary objective of the mission is to ensure sustainable livelihood opportunities for the SHG women through micro-enterprises.

“This initiative holds enormous significance and relevance for Uttar Pradesh from the point of maternal and child health indicators as well. Take-Home-Ration will be produced in accordance with recipe plan, calorie and protein amounts prescribed for beneficiaries of the supplementary nutrition program of the ICDS and a scheme for adolescent girls, in the National Food Security Act (2013).