Handicrafts sector struggling in Kashmir

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By Fast Kashmir on 12/12/2017.

Bilal Bashir Bhat
Srinagar, Dec 12: Due to global meltdown and state apathy the handicrafts sector of Kashmir valley has been going through tough times from several years .
From several years now the economic slowdown has severely hit US, Europe and Middle East – the destinations where Kashmiri handicrafts are more often than not exported – the exporters here have been not capable to acquire fresh orders for their products.
This slowdown has virtually forced the exporters to stop procuring fresh stock from traders and manufacturers.
Precisely, this has in turn gravely impacted the working of entire chain from exporters down to basic craftsmen.
It is worth mention in this regard that the state intervention programme has been for creation and modernization of the handicrafts  centers and skills, however, no major research and development input has been brought into the industry with the result there are certain craft species in danger of extinction and a few of them have extinguished. 
The business people associated with handicrafts sector are expressing their anguish over the sorry state of affairs.
The handicrafts businessman state that “The industry produces handicraft products worth crores and is a major part of our exports.
The carpet alone constitutes 47 per cent of the total production and 46 per cent of the total exports. Both its exports and production have maintained seen a downward trend since the start of global meltdown few years back.”
“The traditional craft industry is suffering at present because of the fact that the quality products are out of market and secondly the Kashmir brands is misused both in local and export market.
We the art and craft people of Kashmir are switching to other business activities on account of stagnation in the sector. Therefore, the need of hour is that government revamps handicrafts sector.
There is also an urgent need to have standard institution to brand indigenous products in art and craft sector in order to   protect the industry,” add traders
The handicrafts sector of Kashmir currently presents a bleak outlook. (KNB)