Handicrafts export to grow at 17%: Textiles Secretary

Textiles Ministry has signed MoUs with 20 e-commerce firms.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Export of handicrafts continued to grow at the rate of 17%, though many sectors witnessed a drop in exports of Indian products to world markets, said Rashmi Verma, Textiles Secretary.

Ministry of Textiles is looking to focus on new opportunities and markets for the domestic handloom and handicrafts sector as several global firms are willing to partner with weavers and artisans in India, she said at an event organised by ASSOCHAM in New Delhi on Friday.

“There is a huge scope for promoting Indian handloom and handicraft products in the niche markets world over,” she added.

Verma urged  all the stakeholders to make efforts to engage with Indian weavers and artisans and hand-hold them not just for making sure that they get right market and price for their products but also get recognised in the world as well as domestic markets.

To help the weavers and artisans to market their products directly, the Secretary informed that the Textiles Ministry has inked memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with 20 e-commerce firms to engage with weavers and artisans in different handicraft and handloom clusters all over the country.

She stated that the Ministry is taking number of measures for skilling weavers, giving them inputs on designing, tools, quality raw material and for upgrading their looms to empower them so that they continue to remain engaged in this craft.

Textiles Ministry has also taken an initiative to train the children of artisans and weavers to turn into entrepreneurs, so that they can emerge as leaders in the groups of producers and directly sell their products via e-commerce and other mediums.

She informed that Textiles Ministry had done an analysis, which pointed out that many weavers and artisans have become labourers in the hands of exporters or traders. 

Verma also said that shortage of working capital, dependency on middlemen for working capital, raw material, and even changes in design are some of the factors that are forcing the artisans and weavers to sell off their craft and talent.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Nov 25, 2016 12:00 IST