Srinagar :Experts at a seminar in Srinagar on Thursday pitched for encouraging artisans and handloom traders to adopt latest techniques besides stressing the need for diversification of strategy for the promotion of handloom sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
The seminar cum awareness workshop Design Trends In Export Market & Product Diversification Strategy For Handloom Sector was organized by The Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) in collaboration with Union Ministry of Textiles and was attended by a large number of weavers and handloom traders besides experts of this trade.
Speaking on the occasion Director JK Handloom Department, Bashir Ahmad Wani, said around 50,000 weavers are registered with the department and there are about 550 cooperative societies in Kashmir out of which 380 are functional.
He said the department is running 10 handloom development clusters under various centrally sponsored schemes. But, he said despite this there are still thousands of artisans who are still unregistered thus bereft of availing benefits under various state and central welfare schemes for artisans.
The Director highlighted various steps the department is taking to give flip to the Handloom sector and for progress of artisans in Kashmir. However, he said more needs to be done for ensuring that quality product reaches to consumer and for upliftment of weavers.
During the seminar, officials of the HEPC said around 1400 exporters are members of the council while from Kashmir there are only 12 exporters as its member and said more and more exporters should register themselves for better market development.
Other speakers and handloom experts said Kashmir crewel embroidery, heritage products of Pashmina, Kani, Sozni Shawals, Stoles, Scarfs and Silk carpets/mats and wall hangings besides silk sarees have lot of scope for export as fabric and made-ups clothing accessories.
They said clothing accessories have huge market potential and scope of expansion where handloom can have a competitive edge over the mechanized sector.