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Indian handloom sector impresses Zambian delegation
17
Nov '15
Courtesy: International trade centre
Courtesy: International trade centre
Members of a Zambian delegation including government officials and cotton sector representatives, who visited India recently have said that the visit helped them gain policy insights and practical advice on building successful handloom clusters, according to the International Trade Centre which facilitated the study tour.

The tour was part of an EU project to boost value addition in African cotton sector. The focus of the tour was to learn about how to develop and manage clusters that would boost productivity and competitiveness in their handloom textile industry.

The tour started in New Delhi in early October, with meetings at the Ministry of Textiles to understand the history of India's handloom sector as well as the policy framework underpinning it. Delegates also visited the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum and Central Cottage Industries Emporium, a government-run store selling handicrafts from across India, ITC said on its website.

“It is extremely enriching for us to understand the Indian handloom legacy and the policy support being provided to help it thrive,” Said Joseph Nkole, National Coordinator, Cotton Association of Zambia (CAZ) said

The delegation also visited Hyderabad to observe handloom clusters and meet stakeholders from government and industry. The delegation visited government facilities, handloom co-operatives, and handloom parks. Delegates got a chance to see handloom weaving at the village level, and were able to understand the entire handloom production process from hand spinning, yarn preparation, and weaving through to value addition like printing, cutting and sewing hand-woven fabric into consumer goods like dresses, curtains, shirts and cushion covers. They also visited the skills and services centres where training and other technical assistance are provided to handloom weavers. Delegates spent considerable time with cluster implementing agencies focusing on how to plan and implement handloom clusters.

The Zambian cluster project is part of a larger EU-backed programme to promote African cotton as well as value addition in the sector. This programme seeks to support value addition to cotton fibre at community level through traditional and low cost technology in the form of handloom development to create employment and income generating opportunities for cotton farmers and stimulate competitive artisanal textile production and build linkages to regional and international markets.

After the study tour, the head of the Zambian delegation, Tobias Mulimbika, Director, Department of Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, said it would help Zambian policymakers and industry groups adopt comparable policies to build a vibrant handloom sector. “Zambia has a lot to learn from the Indian handloom sector. In the Indian tradition, handloom is a way of life and it is a part of their tradition,” he said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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