A Review Meeting of Support to Training & Employment Programme for Women was conducted at KROSS Resource Centre, Bangalore on 11.07.2014. The STEP Programme Coordinators of the 4 districts of Hassan, Mysore, Chitradurga & Bangalore were present along with the Program Officer, KROSS.

Members of the Monitoring Committee, Mr. R. N. Pandey, Chief Technical Officer, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore, Dr. Homiga Balasubramaniyam, Faculty, Regional Institute of Cooperative Management (RICM), Bangalore, and Mr. R. Susainathan, Retd. KAS (Food & Civil Supplies Officer) were present. Mr. P. Stanley, Deputy Director, RICM, Hyderabad was a special invitee. Ms Shakuntala Kashinath Baldale, President, Karnataka State Women Cooperative Federation, Bangalore and Dr. Maya Olga Mascarenhas, MYRADA, Bangalore could not be present for the meeting. The Women & Child Development Corporation said that they will nominate someone and send from the next meeting onward.

Rev. Fr. Peter Brank, Director KROSS briefed the Committee Members about KROSS and the STEP programme being implemented. It was also pointed out that since there was a delay of 4 years in sanctioning the project, the budget mismatched with today’s ruling rates and more efforts had to be put in to mobilize local contribution to match the present condition. At present two vegetables, viz., tomato and chili were under cultivation and okra (Bhindi/ladies’ finger) and capsicum is changed to beans in the other half of the year would be cultivated. Cooperatives were already under formation and three were already registered. The beneficiaries have been advised to sell the products directly through their cooperatives as they can collectively bargain for better rates.

Ms Joyce Periera, Program Officer through a power point presentation updated on the progress of the project, i.e., formation of Self Help Groups, various trainings imparted procurement of seeds from IIHR, distribution of seeds and the further facilitations provided to empower women and cultivate the vegetables, form cooperatives and market the produce.

A brief presentation of project Receipt & Payments was also made before the Committee. The Members were informed that the project was submitted in 2008 which was approved in 2013 due to which the geographical and social conditions had been changed and some of the area and beneficiaries needed to be changed primarily because of drought and some beneficiaries had migrated. So the Committee accepted the proposal to change the area and beneficiaries and submit to the Ministry through the State Government for approval.

Mr. R. N. Panday, IIHR assured all help and assistance from his field staff as and when required. Dr. Homiga Balasubramaniyam, RICM said that any help needed in forming the cooperatives her assistance would always be available. Mr. R. Susainathan said that the cardinal rule should be no holding as vegetable is a perishable product and holding costs money. The Committee suggested that multiple options to be sought for marketing the produce besides APMC.

The meeting was concluded at 2.00 P.M. with a vote of thanks which was proposed by Mr. Clement Fernandes, Asst. Manager Programme Support.