Recession plagues handicraft sector


The global recession, ofcourse, also contributed to the downfall.

The exports fell from Rs 14,012 crore in 2007-08 to just Rs 8,183 crore in 2008-09.
Lack of mass production techniques and non-aggressive overseas marketing strategy and product development have been identified as the other major constraints facing the sector in a study conducted by the Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (EPCH), a ministry of textiles-backed body.

The irony is that a government-sponsored body has pinpointed the government’s own faulty planning in the sector, which saw over five lakh of over 60 lakh artisans losing their jobs due to the decline in exports, following the economic slowdown.

The Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts in its study, has also suggested a remedial roadmap to double handicraft exports, which includes an aggressive international marketing, organisation of trade festivals and buyer-seller meets, publicity campaigns, brand promotion and publication of world class catalogues.

The impact of the economic downturn is very much visible in the latest edition of the Indian Handicraft & Gifts Fair 2009, which concluded on Tuesday at the India Expo Centre in Greater Noida near the capital, with the participants complaining about the participation of lesser number of international buyers as compared to earlier editions.

As part of the recovery model, the EPCH has decided to set up 25 common facility centres (CFC) at important production clusters across the country, which will focus on five broad product categories that have international demand—festive décor, needle craft, tribal craft, natural fibres and fashion accessories.

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