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Hill Brooms and Maize

Hill Brooms and Maize Value Chain Development

Broomgrass farming:

Broomgrass is a perennial, high value, non-perishable, nontimber forest product (NTFP) that grows abundantly in degraded, steep or marginal land. The panicles of this multipurpose crop are widely used for making brooms.   Broom grass has an important ecological and economical role for hillside dwellers. It’s non-perishable nature makes broomgrass a suitable cash crop establishing high market demands. 

Maize Cultivation:

Maize popularly known as ‘Corn’ is the most versatile emerging cash crop having wider adaptability under varied climatic conditions. Corn which is also termed as ‘Queen of cereals’ grows throughout the year and is of high nutritious value . Maize or corn serves as basic raw material for thousands of industrial products that may include starch, alcohol beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, package and paper industries etc.  In Assam, a sufficient quantity of Maize is produced developing a considerable market demand.   

Promoting Cultivation of Hillbroom and Maize as a sustainable livelihood option: 

Hill broom which grows abundantly in the hilly regions of Assam can be promoted into sustainable livelihood option of the SHG members  as it involves very low investments  and has high tolerance  to harsh environment conditions such as shallow soil, drought and heavy rainfall minimizing  risk involved  in this  cultivation .  The SHG members   can yield good income with this cultivation   and thereby enhance additional household income.

Keeping all the wonderful aspects of Hillbroom and Maize cultivation ASRLM has initiated steps to enhance the household income of SHG Members through collective collection & cultivation, aggregation, primary processing and collective marketing of Hill Brooms and Maize through establishment of community institutions like Producer’s Group.  The major objectives of the project will be as follows

  • Promotion of Producer Groups and Producers Company.
  • Development of business plan and market linkage
  • Capacity building of the Mission Staff and Producers Group and Community level.

The project is in Rhongkhang and Lumbajong blocks of District Karbi Anglong with an estimated coverage of 1000 SHG households in Collective aggregation & Broom Manufacturing and 1400 SHG households in Collective Aggregation and marketing of Maize. 

Table: Geographical Distribution of Commodity Clusters:

Block

Number of HHs

Commodities

Rhonkhang

1300

Hill Broom, Maize (~400 farmers are part of both)

Lumbajong

700

Maize

Total

2000

 

Approach to intervention:

The value chain intervention proposed for hill-broom would focus on addressing the critical gaps identified in harvest and primary processing practices of the community through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs).

Proposed value Chain:

Business Model for Hill-Broom Grass Value Chain Intervention

Business model for the hill-broom grass processing and collection of hill-broom grass is planned under the supervision of Producer Company. The details are mentioned below:

Description of the proposed business

  1. Intervention Area: The proposed value chain intervention on processing of raw hill-broom into brooms is planned in two clusters, namely Amlongsarpo and Kopiliclusters of Rhongkhang block of District Karbi Anglong in Assam.
  2. Household Coverage: Under the proposed intervention, there is potential to cover 1000 households in two clusters, Amlongsarpo and Kopili of Block Rhongkhang of District Karbi Anglong.
  3. Raw Material Procurement Plan: There is potential to source raw materials from 1000 households engaged in cultivation of hill-broom in two clusters, namely Amlongsarpo and Kopili of Rhongkhang blocks of District Karbi Anglong. In business plan, the procurement price of hill-broom grass is set at INR 31/kg.
  4. Product Mix: The targeted product mix is 20:80, with around 20% of the raw hill-broom grass procured by Producer Company being processed into brooms and 80% being sold as raw grass to wholesalers and processors.
  5. Target Markets/Customers and Prices: The unit can potentially target markets such as Diphu, Nagaon and Guwahati etc. Brooms being an essential item have high demand and command good prices. With the right kind of marketing/promotion strategy and appropriate choice of marketing channels, the unit can ensure fast turnover of its finished broom. It is envisaged that the unit will primarily use following marketing channels for marketing the finished product:
  • Bulk sale to wholesalers and distributors for sale of finished broom
  • Organizational tie ups with the Municipal Corporations may also be explored
  • Sell to organized retail players like Big Bazaar and also unorganized retail players/supermarkets
  • Sell raw hill-broom directly to large processors

Value chain intervention Process: 

  1. Identification and mobilization of 2000 SHG members of Lumbajong and Rongkhang Block
  2. Establish producers group at village/cluster /block level and one Producers Company at central level.
  3. Preparation of implementation action plan.
  4. Preparation of Business model for Producers Company and implementation of the same.
  5. Institutional Building of Producers Group and Producers Company.
  6. Marketing support in marketing,buyers identification market linkage etc.
  7. Capacity building at different level of ASRLM staff, Community members, Producers Organisations office bearers on Producer Group Management, Maintenance of Books of Records and  Business  Operations, besides hands on training on  harvesting, drying ,  cleanings and processing.
  8. Development of Package of practice (PoP) for production enhancement.
  9. Development of modalities for distribution of CIF to individual farmer/ PGs/ SHGs
  10. Identification of Primary Producers and formation of Producers Groups (PGs) as per the approved product line. Assist the PGs in identification of representatives/Directors in forming the Producer Company (PC).
  11. Facilitating partnerships development/linkages/convergence with key knowledge/technology institutions, private firms, marketing institutions and traders.