The origin of the occupation can be traced as early as the advent of the ex-British regime in the country. The bakeries were then started to cater to the needs of the European officials. However, they expanded with the passage of time and with the change in food habits of the people. Now the consumption of processed food stuff's, particularly the bread, is so large that it is available even in remote villages. However, these food items have not been able to replace the main constituents of food, viz. chapati or bhakari and they are still used as side or luxury dishes in urban areas.
Generally, bakeries are found in Amravati and in other towns like Badnera, Achalpur, Dhamangaon, Morshi, Warud, etc. In the other parts of the district, some businessmen either bring bread, biscuits, etc., from a big bakery or prepare them themselves on a small scale.
Raw materials required by a bakery consist of maida (wheat- flour), sugar, soda, hydrogenated oils, ghee, etc. All these items are purchased from the local markets. An average unit found in the district uses about 8-10 maunds of maida, about a maund of sugar and the necessary quantity of hydrogenated oil and ghee in a month. A large-sized bakery requires nearly
double this quantity. The cost of raw materials in the case of
a big bakery varies from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000'per month. The rials worth Rs. 200 to Rs. 500
small-sized establishment on the other hand requires raw mate-
The equipment of an average bakery consists of a large wcoden table to prepare dough, a bhatti or oven, tin trays, small iron-sheet boxes to bake bread, long iron rods, vessels, moulds, cupboards, baskets, etc. The cost of a bhatti varies from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500. The cost of other equipment of a small unit varies from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000; while a big unit has equipment worth Rs. 2,500 and Rs. 3.000. Thus the fixed capital is required generally to construct a bhatti and buy the necessary equipment, while the working capital is required to purchase raw materials and to pay the wages.
Only large-sized establishments in Amravati and in towns like
Achalpur, Badnera, Dhamangaon, Morshi, etc., have paid employees. However, quite a large number of bakeries are, run ns one-man units, occasionally with the assistance of family-members by their proprietors. Wages paid to hired labour depend on the nature of the job, skilled or unskilled. An unskilled labourer gets about a rupee and a half while a baker is paid, sometimes more than two rupees per day. Skilled labourers sometimes get monthly payments varying between Rs. 60 and Rs. 90.
Bread, butter, cakes, biscuits and buns are the chief products of these bakeries. However, bread alone accounts for a significant part of the total production. These products are sold either on wholesale or retail basis. Although the turnover of a bakery depends upon its size, in the case of a big unit it varies between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,500 per month. The volume of turnover of a small-sized unit varies from Rs. 400 to Rs. 700. The bulk of the transaction in these units takes place on a cash basis and as such the amount locked up as working capital is negligible. An average bakery earns a net income varying between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000 per annum. The bakeries have almost continuous business throughout the year.