Arecanut Leaf Plate Manufacturing Cluster Development Project has been a flagship programme of Dhriiti. It is the most successful programme in which, over a period of 10 years Dhriiti established its model full circle to withdrawing its presence by handing over operations to the producers’ institution. It has been supported initially by FWWB and USAID. The programme then for a long time till its transition had been supported by SDTT, NABARD and NEDfi. The programme had a vision to build a micro enterprise value chain that would be a 100 crore industry for North East by 2020. It envisioned a rural enterprise revolution for local people using local resources.
The programme was initiated in December 2004 in Barpeta District of Assam. The programme was implemented with passion and intensity in 5 districts in and around Bodoland. The programme organically spread to many other states. The programme was initiated with a pilot plant in Barpeta and then intensive inputs were given in Research & Development, product development, machine development, financial mainstreaming, operations efficiency and entrepreneurship development for around 10 years. Dhriiti strategized its withdrawal from the project by building a people’s institution which would run the operations with commercial sustainability. Dhriiti created and incubated Tamul Plates Marketing Private Limited which today sells Arecanut Leaf plates and Bowls under the brand name ARECANA.