India’s north-eastern states, one of the richest in terms of eco-friendly crafts, exported handicrafts and handloom products to the tune of Rs 1,121.75 crore during the year 2015-16.
The eight north-eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – are home to a large number of tribes and sub-tribes who bring into this region’s export basket, natural and handmade products from about 450 different communities.
“Handicraft exports from north-eastern states are poised to make quantum jump. During 2015-16, the handicrafts exports were to the tune of Rs 1,121.75 crore over the previous year from that region,” Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), Executive Director, Rakesh Kumar, told IANS.
The north eastern states have abundant natural material such as cane, bamboo, timber, silk, clay, natural fibre, etc.
As many as 26 crafts exporters from the north-eastern states are showcasing their products at the 43rd Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF)- Delhi Fair Spring 2017 in the India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida Expressway.
“I am sure the participation of handicraft and handloom exporters from north-eastern states in the mart would further increase with the help of focused export promotion programmes by providing a platform to the artisans, crafts persons and manufacturers of north eastern state in the fairs and trade shows being organized by EPCH as well as in international fairs abroad where EPCH participates,” Kumar said.
For the first time, Kumar said EPCH also set up a thematic display of north-east products in the renowned Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair at Hong Kong under the North Eastern Region Trade Promotion Scheme of Ministry of Textiles.
The handicraft and handloom exporters from the region showcased their cane and bamboo based basketry, lamp shades, gift items, decoratives and utility products as well as furniture; cushion covers and stoles; water hyacinth products, and silk based traditional artistic textiles; products made of kauna grass; jute based bags and accessories; hand loomed artistic textiles; and handicrafts using other local materials.
“We have also provided handholding to five entrepreneurs towards this participation. This international participation will definitely boost the morale of the small and upcoming entrepreneurs of this region and motivate others to step-up their efforts in product design and innovation, so that they can also get connected to the international buying community,” he said.
Over 6,500 foreign buyers from more than 80 countries, buying agents based in India and domestic retail volume buyers visited the mega fair to source their requirements.
Apart from exporters from the north-eastern states, more than 3,000 exhibitors, including 900 permanent marts from all over the country, are also showcasing products in 14 different categories, at “the world’s largest congregation of handicrafts exhibitors under one roof” which will culminate on February 20.