Thursday, March 24, 2011


SEVAI promotes the production of Arecanut Leaf Plates'(Paakku mattai Plates) among Self Help Groups of Angarai Cluster of Trichirapalli District. The raw materials for Paakku mattai Plates comes from Kallar plam grove plantations near Mettupalayam.SEVAI works towards setting up small manufacturing units of disposable plates and bowls made from the sheath of arecanut plants. Each arecanut leaf plate manufacturing provides direct employment to 3 persons and there is an indirect impact of creating employment for 4 other persons. Hence the enterprise provides employability in a positive light for SHGs of Trichirapalli District. At the same time it leads to production of an eco-friendly product from a resource which is generally a waste in these regions. The marketing tie up arrangements has been done with Marutham Marketing Enterprises. It has been a very valuable learning experience for SEVAI over the last three years. We have realized that implementation of an enterprise development project is just not about creating a value chain but to simplify the process for each and every stakeholder in the value chain and creating a win-win relationship between all the stakeholders. We have successfully created this relationship, but what needs to be done hereafter is to strengthen this relationship both in terms of quantity and quality is to create employment opportunities through the promotion of sustainable community level micro enterprises. The product has been launched is plates and bowls of different shapes and sizes made out of arecanut leaves. These disposable utensils are being used for serving and eating food. Some of the qualities of the raw material are as follows: Completely Eco-friendly,Bio-degradable and Compostable, Chemical free and Non-Toxic,Hygienic,Natural and attractive appearance,   Microwave-oven & Refrigerator safe, Sturdy and light which makes it possible to use in buffet parties, Can hold liquid for 3-4 hours, Can be easily moulded into different shapes and sizeshe above qualities of the raw material makes these plates much better than the existing disposable plates available in the market, made out of plastic, thermocol, paper and sal patta. Thus it has a potential demand at places like marriage halls, hotels, food chains like Haldirams, temples etc. If marketed properly then international environment friendly natural product based markets are also accessible.
The model scheme developed by SEVAI requires an initial investment of Rs.1.4 lakh to establish a manufacturing unit. Each manufacturing unit consists of a machine room (includes finished product stocking space) and a raw material stock room. These units have 2 areca nut leaf plate machines with 3 dies of different sizes. The dies can be easily interchanged and each die can be attached to any machine. The parts of the machine are also flexible and can be easily replaced or repaired. The units have a capacity to process 1,50,000 pieces of arecanut sheaths per annum producing around 4,50,000 plates/bowls. In most of the cases the entrepreneur contributes 5% of the capital and the rest is a bank loan with 30% back end subsidy. This is the most commonly used model but some single also go for single machine smaller units. Presently some SHGs have also opted for 3-5 machine units which require an initial investment of more than Rs.2 lakhs. On an average a person earns not less than Rs.4000 per month.
SEVAI has identified that there are seven stages of work in promoting an arecanut leaf plate manufacturing unit. Survey and baseline study of potential area, Creating awareness amongst community and promotion of the project amongst enabling agencies, Capacity building of interested new entrepreneurs and old entrepreneurs, Financial linkage of entrepreneurs raising initial investment, Stage Technical linkage of entrepreneurs for establishing units and producing arecanut leaf plates, Marketing linkage of entrepreneurs for selling arecanut leaf plates, Research & Development for increasing efficiency and effectiveness of units,Continuous monitoring and evaluation of process to identify the loopholes and bottlenecks and thereby improving the process. –EtNS.


  1. impressive truth . as we are also manufacturing the same plates, can you help us out for marketing these plates........

    shiva.g. raman



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