Nepal Cottage and Small Industries Expo sales hit Rs 50 millionA total of 195 stalls, comprising cottage and small entrepreneurs from 77 districts, welcomed 180,000 visitors
The 30th Nepal Cottage and Small Industries Expo concluded on Sunday, grossing Rs50 million in business transactions. The five-day expo was organised by the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries. According to the organiser, the expo exceeded targets buoyed by strong sales of organic foods, allo goods and food grains from the hills.
Surya Bahadur Kandel, vice-president of the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries said the fair was effective in generating business, marketing and networking, especially for entrepreneurs from remote areas.
A total of 195 stalls, comprising cottage and small entrepreneurs from 77 districts, welcomed nearly 180,000 visitors, said the organiser. Kandel said the government had allocated Rs75 million for the fair.
Narendra Bahadur Rokaya, proprietor of Shramjibi Nepali Hatey Kagaj Udhyog from Jajarkot, had a presence at the expo and highlighted the transportation problems plaguing his business and others. “We need to manually carry the lokta paper, walk for a day before we reach the market,” he said. He claimed that his enterprise has been producing 100 pure lokta paper using local raw materials.
Rokaya said that lokta paper has good market in foreign countries, particularly in Japan. Kandel also acknowledged the problems faced by cottage and small industries. The first one is registration hassle. “Entrepreneurs have to run here and there just to register their enterprise,” he said, adding that one window service needs to be introduced to register an enterprise. Similarly, banks and financial institutions are reluctant to provide special credit facilities to small entrepreneurs. “One needs to try very hard to get a loan,” he said.
And with most of the cottage and small industries not adopting modern technology and production techniques, the output from them is limited, he said.
According to the Department of Cottage and Small Industries, there are 418,052 cottage and small industries registered across the country. However, the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries said that there are half a million cottage and small industries across the country. According to organisers, cottage and small industries have created direct employment to 26,686 people. They also said that of the total, around 70 percent of the country’s total exportable goods are being produced by cottage and small industries.