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'Cash incentives not benefiting Nepal Pashmina exporters'
24
Jan '12
Pashmina exporters in Nepal are finding it difficult to take full advantage of cash incentives being provided by the Government, as they find the terms and conditions very difficult to fulfill.

“Since the last 2 years, the Government has announced cash incentives for Pashmina export promotion, but we are not getting any benefit from it as the terms and conditions are very difficult to fulfill,” Mr. Pushpa Man Shreshtha, President - Nepal Pashmina Industries Association (NPIA), told fibre2fashion.

Detailing the problems faced by Nepal's Pashmina industry and their solutions, he says, “The raw material for Pashmina is obtained from the northern belt of our country, where people are poor and they have no access to transportation, education or health. The Government should provide some facilities to improve infrastructure in this region, to enable us to procure raw material directly from them.”

“Secondly, Pashmina shawls are losing their market because of competition with China in the international market. Currently, we are buying raw materials from China and hence we cannot be as competitive as them. We are already in talks with our Government to see what we can do for better farming the mountain goats. If we can get a very fine quality of Pashmina from our country itself, then we can become as competitive as China,” he explains.

“Besides, the image of Pashmina is deteriorating in the international market because the Pashmina that we see as an item of prestige has been defamed and now Pashmina can be found on the footpaths to departmental stores. But, this Pashmina is not really Pashmina; it is viscous or acrylic type material that is falsely sold in the name of Pashmina. Actually, Pashmina is very fine wool from mountain goats and the products from this wool are called real Pashmina,” he informs.

Briefing about current production and potential for growth, he says, “More than 2 million Pashmina shawls are exported every year and another 2 million are bought by the tourists. Thus, total production is around 4-5 million pieces, which account for a 5-6 percent share in Nepal's economy. But, with improved farming and easy availability of raw material in the country, this share can go up to 7-8 percent.”

Informing about Chyangra Pashmina, he avers, “We have already registered Chyangra Pashmina as a trademark. If we market and promote it well, then definitely our exports will increase.”

Mr. Dilip Khanal, Director General - Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal, agrees, “Nepal is trying to promote its own brand as Chyangra Pashmina. The brand is registered in major markets and this will have positive impact on market promotion of Pashmina products including shawls.

Giving reasons for Pashmina losing its charm, he says, “In the West, Pashmina shawl once emerged as a fashion item, but has lost its charm with the passage of time, mainly because it is not a comfortable wear with western style outfits.”

“However, few dimensions in production like beadworks, embroidery, and more colours and patterns have helped Pashmina shawl stay in the market. Further, Peoples' perception on any wrap as Pashmina has extended its outreach, but its exclusivity has been lost,” he opines.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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