Leaf plate making is the major source income for many families residing at the forested areas in our country. It has been observed from the ancient times that sal tree has a great importance among the tribal community as they are greatly dependent on the sal leaves and its other products for their livelihood. In recent time, due to rapid urbanization and growing demand of eco-friendly products, sal leaf plate manufacturing is not only restricted to any particular class or community but has become one of the widespread small scale businesses in various parts of India.
Disposable plates come for a great use in everyday life. During parties or different occasions like picnic, marriage ceremony and other social gatherings where food is served, disposal items like plates, cups, glass and others are used rigorously all over India. This gives the leaf plate making business a great scope to prosper.
Market Opportunity of Sal Leaf Plate Making
Disposable plates and other items are made up of many items both natural and man made. Out of this, natural items are best preferred as artificial items like plastics and others comes with the risk of many health hazards. Moreover, the hiring cost of glass/steel for parties is more than the cost of leaf plates along with the bowls. That is the reason leaf dinnerware is one of the most preferred one in compare to the other items. This makes the business idea of leaf plate making an attractive one with a great market potentiality to be a successful business venture.
India is abundant with Sal trees. Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar are the places in India which have the maximum growth of the Sal trees. India is one of the highest growers of Sal trees in the world which gives a great scope for the leaf plate manufacturing units in India to prosper.
Manufacturing Process of Leaf Plate Making
Earlier leaf plates manufacturing process was completely dependent on hand made procedure. But with the introduction of new technologies, now there are leaf plate making machine with which it can be produced very easily. Thousands of plates can be manufactured with ease on single day.
- Different leaf plate making machine:-
- Manually operated machine:- Cost approx 10,000 to 12,000 Rs
- Motor operated Machine:- Cost approx 30,000 to 35,000 Rs
You will also need different dies of different size. The 14 inches dies costs around Rs 3,000. 10 inch dies will cost like Rs 2,500 and 8 inch dies will cost Rs 2,000. For making bowl, you will need 4 inch dies which will cost you around Rs 1,500.
Manufacturing Process: –
The Sal leaf is the basic raw material required in the process. The two other materials needed are bamboo sticks and polythene films. Earlier, leaves collected from the forest are dried in an open space for 3-4 hours and then kept in open for whole night to acquire some moisture. Thereafter, those leaves are stitched with bamboo sticks to convert them into plates and bowls and later pressed under a foot-operated pressing unit to give the actual shape of the plates and bowls.
With the introduction of motor-operated leaf plate making machine, the making process has become easier. At first, the sal leaves are dipped into the water. Then those are put into the specific dies of the machine and the machine will produce plates and bowls as per the mentioned forms.
Packaging Materials: –
You will need plastic bags to for the packaging purpose of the end product. To give the plates an elegant look and for more durability, you can even laminate the plates or bowls.
You will also need 220 volts for operating the motor operated Sal leaf plate making machine.
Steps to Start a Sal Leaf Plate Manufacturing Unit
Leaf plate manufacturing business is a small scale business opportunity. But, even being a small scale idea, the demand is huge for leaf plates and bowls. With this business scope, you can have a successful venture in business to have a lucrative individual career opportunity. Below are the steps that you should follow to start your leaf plate making business: –
Every business idea needs to be commenced after doing an advanced research on the same. As a business owner, you need to know each and every details of the business. Your research should find out the different pros and cons of the business, the market potentiality of the same, required capital along with operating procedures.
A business plan plays a great role behind the success of any business. It also helps in getting loan facility from financial institutes. It should include the detailed step of operating the business along with the plans for the future growth of the same.
The business of leaf plate making is a small scale unit. So you will not need a huge investment for the same. Your complete set of machinery will come with an approx investment of Rs 1 lacs. So the rest of the required capital can be estimated with the research.
Being a manufacturing unit, your business will not be linked with the direct customers. So, the place of the unit doesn’t play a vital role. You can take a place in rent or lease which is cheap in cost but is connected with transport system and have supply of power.
In the research of your business, find out the best suppliers of the raw materials i.e. Sal leaf. Do a complete comparison of different suppliers and select the best and cost effective one.
As you will be a new entrant in the market, you need to promote your business extensively. Find out the bulk purchasers of leaf dinnerware and other items and proper market place where you can sell your product on regular basis.
These are the basic steps to begin your leaf plate making business. You can start this business to have a successful venture into the world of entrepreneurship.