Pune: After the prohibition of liquor and toddy in Bihar since 2016, the Nitish Kumar government has taken several steps to promote the production of ‘neera’ (palm nectar) as a source of livelihood for those dependent on the post-fermented version of the palm tree juice. To know the supply chain and production of neera, a team of Bihar government visited Pune recently.
A 16-member team including Project Manager, District Project Manager, Block Project Manager and others of Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS), known as Jeevika was in Pune, to know about the sale of neera. The team visited Neera Cooperative Society at Somwar Peth and studied how this can be a livelihood option. The society briefed them about neera tapping, collection and steps in the selling process.
“After the total prohibition of liquor and toddy in Bihar, the livelihoods of the community involved in the selling of toddy got affected. To make available to them alternative livelihood opportunity the production and sale of neera has been started in the state. To speed up setting up of a successful neera value chain, an exposure visit of Jeevika team to Pune has commenced,” said Anil Kumar, Project Manager.
The team first visited the State Excise Department in Pune and Khadi Gramodyog and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The team also visited Kawati village to study the neera tapping, processes involved in the production and management of neera.
“The meeting was fruitful and we became aware of rules and regulations, licensing requirement and process of neera production, the society structure and loan arrangements. We visited many stalls in the city and had a conversation with the stall owners,” Anil Kumar said.
The Jeevika team said they had a meeting with the Bhandari community, which is the founder of Neera Sahakari Society. They were aware of pricing strategy, input cost involvements in production, transportation arrangements and were explained in detail about the people involved in the entire chain.
The team was headed by Anil Kumar, Project Manager, Jay Prakash, Young Professional, Pawan Kumar Priyadarshi, Project Manager, Communication, Sikandar Kumar, Project Manager Finance, District Project Manager including Vinay Kumar, Santosh Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Kamal Kishore, district level managers Ravi Shankar, Amrita Kumari, Deepak Kumar and Ashish Kumar.