Nepali pashmina support project likely to be extended

  • ITC has hinted that the extended programme will focus on improving backward linkages that will include supporting chyangra farmers in the mountainous regions
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 20, 2017-The International Trade Centre (ITC), a multilateral joint agency under the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations, is likely to extend the Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support (Pets) project. 

The first phase of Pets, which aims to support the overall pashmina supply chain, was launched in March 2014. Following its completion, the ITC has indicated that the second phase might be started soon. 

ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez expressed willingness to extend funding for the second phase during her recent visit to Nepal.“If the authorities in Nepal can make available the official statistics related to the achievement of the first phase of the programme, the ITC will provide support to run the second phase,” Gonzalez said. 

Speaking at the closing programme, James Edwin, monitoring and evaluation coordinator of the Enhanced Integrated Framework, stressed the need to produce raw materials by engaging in livestock farming to take Nepal’s pashmina sector to new heights. 

During the first phase of Pets, the ITC provided $1.8 million to improve the quality of production and design and promote the collective trademark Chyangra in the international arena. 

ITC had joined hands with the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association to enhance the competitiveness of Nepali pashmina.

Durga Thapa, president of the association, said that the ITC was positive about extending the project due to its positive outcomes. “The ITC has hinted that the extended programme will focus on improving backward linkages that will include supporting chyangra farmers in the high mountainous regions,” Thapa said. The three-year project, which ended last week, helped to build the capacity of 32 pashmina traders in management and banking. 

Likewise, the project funded 40 designers associated with the Namuna College of Fashion Technology in Bansbari to develop new designs of pashmina products.

Similarly, 250 farmers in Upper Mustang benefitted through awareness programmes conducted by the ITC supported project. Over the project period, Pets also supported Nepali traders participating in international trade fairs in the US, France and Japan. 

Thapa said that the ITC had asked for paperwork showing the new orders that traders received during the project period. “The number of new trading partners, and a formal report on a comparative study on the status of the pashmina business before and after the implementation of Pets are among the main things that the ITC wants to see before extending the project.”

Pashmina is one of Nepal’s 10 largest export items as per government trade statistics. According to Nepal Rastra Bank, the country exported pashmina products worth Rs2.45 billion last year. Exports to India totalled Rs72.1 million while shipments to China were valued at Rs25.5 million.

Published: 20-10-2017 09:55

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