Handicraft Trade Fair sees Rs12m turnoverThe 14th edition of the Handicraft Trade Fair concluded on Tuesday recording an impressive turnover of Rs10-12 million and footfall of more than 200,000.
The 14th edition of the Handicraft Trade Fair concluded on Tuesday recording an impressive turnover of Rs10-12 million and footfall of more than 200,000.
The five-day exhibition organised jointly by the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (Fhan) and the Commerce Ministry displayed a wide range of domestically produced goods from across the country besides handicraft items made in Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Tibet. The fair hosted seven pavilions and 176 stalls exhibiting products like textiles and readymade garments made of felt, silk and acrylic; wooden crafts and metal crafts; honey from wild bees; trekking equipment; herbal products; interior decor items and furniture made of pulp.
Speaking at the closing programme, Fhan President Dharma Raj Shakya said the fair had aimed mainly at promoting exports of handmade products. According to him, displays of the country’s intangible cultural heritage and trends at the expo helped to attract more foreign buyers this time.
Locally manufactured textiles, silver jewelry and woolen products were the main attraction of the trend display. Similarly, the cultural displays showed rural traditions of the Sherpas and Tamangs, among others. “These performances were successful in creating a close tie-up of rural traditions with Nepali handicraft products,” Shakya said.
He called for a separate government policy to boost the Nepali handicraft business. “If such a policy had been created, it could have helped form a handicraft council and establish a handicraft village that are vital for the promotion of the sector.”
Sunil Chitrakar, coordinator of the trade fair, said the expo mainly helped small producers of Nepali handicrafts to develop forward linkages. “It provided them marketing avenues to promote village based products,” said Chitrakar. He added that a locally made artwork fetched Rs1.2 million at the expo.
Meanwhile, Fhan also honoured winners of the 12th Craft Competition which was conducted on the sidelines of the expo. Manik Man Shakya bagged the first prize in the metal craft segment while Uma Gothe Kapali was declared the winner in the weaving category. Likewise, Creative Wood Carving won the title of best product in the traditional products segment.
According to Kapali, the sector is currently facing a manpower shortage. “An unorganised workforce, poor incentives for workers and lack of training have been hindering the growth of the Nepali handicraft business.”