New Agarbatti Stick Making Unit launched in Assam
Union Minister of MSME, Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a Bamboo Agarbatti Stick making Unit in Assam. The manufacturing unit has been launched by Keshari Bio Products LLP at Bajali district in Assam.
This manufacturing unit is an apt example of “Waste to Wealth” as apart from making Agarbatti sticks, it also uses huge quantity of waste bamboo into making bio-fuel and various other products.
It is noteworthy that only 16% of bamboo is used for making Agarbatti sticks while the remaining 84% bamboo goes waste. However, with diverse technology employed by Keshari Bio Products LLP, every bit of the bamboo is utlized.
The waste bamboo is used to produce methane gas which is mixed with diesel as an alternate fuel. The waste bamboo is also used for making charcoal powder for Agarbatti and fuel briquettes. The waste bamboo is also used for making ice-cream sticks, chopsticks, spoons and other items.
The Agarbatti Stick making Unit in Assam has been set up at a cost of Rs 10 crore and will provide direct employment to 350 people while also creating over 300 indirect employment.
Setting up these units in Assam assumes great significance in wake of the Union government’s decision of restriction on import of raw agarbatti from China and Vietnam and also a hike in import duty on round bamboo sticks for agarbatti.
The two decisions were taken essentially to curb the huge import of agarbatti and bamboo sticks from the two countries that had crippled the Indian agarbatti industries. As a result of these decisions, hundreds of closed Agarbatti manufacturing units in India were revived in the last one and half years creating nearly 3 lakh new jobs. The unit by Keshari Bio Products LLP is the first big project that has come up after these policy decisions.
At present, the consumption of incense sticks in India is around 1490 tons per day but only 760 tons per day is produced locally. Hence, there is a huge gap in the demand and supply of incense sticks that resulted in heavy import of raw agarbatti. The import of raw agarbatti increased from just 2% in 2009 to 80% in 2019.
As per the minister, Bamboo Agarbatti stick unit in Assam would go a long way in strengthening the local Agarbatti industry which has a huge potential for local employment creation. The unit is also a major step in the direction of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
To reap maximum benefit from this opportunity, KVIC has also launched a program called Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission to increase India’s local Agarbatti production through the Prime Minister Employment Generation Program
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal and KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena were present on the occasion.