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Scientific practices can sustain Kashmir crafts industry - Experts
16
Jul '09
If the scientific practices are not being adopted by the traditional handicrafts sector of the state, the industry might experience dislodgement from world market, warned experts, who called for the integration of research and modern orientation in Kashmir Handicraft sector.

The handicraft sector is Rs 1000 crore industry, which directly or indirectly employs more than 3.5 lakh people. The handicraft sector would be in danger of extinction, if the research and development components as well as new practices are not undertaken in the industry, noted Economist Prof. Nissar Ali.

Continuation of the traditional craft making practices will destroy the Kashmiri craft and would displace such a huge industry from international market, he said. The industry needs innovations for all its products along with upholding of quality, for which Kashmir Standards Institute should be developed, he added.

The machine-made crafts from China are impacting these handmade crafts of Kashmir, adversely, which could be forced out from the world markets due to these 'Copy-Cat Chinese handicrafts', said an expert.

The people in handicrafts industry of Kashmir are unable to upgrade themselves as well as update design practices and can not exploit opportunities. They are retrogressive and still are continuing with the traditional forms of designing. All these factors would reduce the profitability of the handicraft products, added the expert.

Apart from this, lack of decent wages and working conditions would make craftsmen to look forward for other means of earning, he added. Prof. Nissar suggested Craft Development institute (CDI) to carry out the lab exercises and involve major players of the industry and make them aware of the innovations and management skills.

The Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (EPCH) sought ban on import of Chinese handicrafts, which left one lakh artisans of the Indian handicrafts industry without job in last few months. According to the figures from EPCH, India imported Rs. 1,040.03 crore worth of Chinese made handicrafts in 2007-08 against 792.98 crore in the year 2006-07.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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