Vision Karnataka Foundation to Boost Local Economies in Bagalakote, Karnataka through their Jute Clusters


Bangalore: VKF, a platform that enables a think tank to evolve an aggregation of the social impact service providers and entrepreneurs for bringing about a transformational movement of social change that is measurable on the lines of the Strategic Sustainable Development Goals (SSDG) of the United Nations (UN) has recently secured Jute Cluster from Ministry of Rural Development to boost the local economy. VKF is primarily focused on the development of India in collaboration and co-creation initiatives that largely centre around the aggregation of social impact solutions by community-based mass entrepreneurship and cluster development model.

This Jute Cluster is set to transform the lives of about 1,400 households and indirectly about 3000 local population comprising artisans and women Self Help Groups in Bagalakote of Karnataka. The Jute Cluster has received approval from the DAY NRLM Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. A grant of INR 5 Crores has been sanctioned for this initiative, aimed at empowering 350 all-women Self-Help Groups that have faced challenges in establishing a presence in the market with their jute-based products. The funds will be utilised to construct a Common Facility Centre, addressing various quality issues faced by these groups.

As the Technical Agency, VKF has collaborated extensively with Sanjeevani KSRLPS, Government of Karnataka, over the past 18 months. This collaboration involves the submission of an integrated Cluster Development proposal and the implementation of various initiatives. The economic influence of the cluster will predominantly extend to areas with high concentrations of artisan populations, namely Bagalakote, Hunagund, Bilagi, Mudhol, and Badami.

Kishor Jagirdar, President of Vision Karnataka Foundation, has stated that “VKF’s innovative eMarketplace, VISKART, is set to seamlessly connect products with diverse corporate and cultural communities worldwide, facilitating efficient bulk order bookings. Partnering with BLUEDART for delivery services and in ongoing discussions with the postal department, VKF is on track to gain ONDC validation, solidifying its position in the digital marketplace. VKF is focussing on the CFC, design thinking support, collectivisation of the artisans, access to the machinery and raw material bank which will be the primary objective in 2024-25”.

Vision Karnataka Foundation has been continuously crusading for the recognition and sanction of this project in New Delhi and successfully seeking the enhancement in the grant amount by 5 times the originally allotted budget. Anitha Rao and Nandakishora – Executive Board Members of VKF have identified over 900 additional beneficiaries, who will be contributing to the robustness of the cluster over the next four years with market linkage and the latest fashionable designs including exploring export markets. The technology used is sensitive to carbon footprint minimisation and climate-friendly methods by introducing organic and natural dyes, etc.

The regions with numerous sugar factories have long utilised discarded jute bags, traditionally recycled by the local community. While maize cultivation remains a primary focus, during lean periods, women turned to tailoring for additional income, creating daily utility items. With support from institutions and NRLM, Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in these areas are now transforming this practice into a central hub for innovative jute designs and aesthetics, making it a sustainable means of livelihood.