Srinagar, Apr 7: The Director, Handicrafts and Handloom (H&H), Kashmir today held a meeting to deliberate upon the modalities of setting up of Pashmina Wool Bank under Pashmina Wool Development Scheme (PWDS) implemented by the Central Wool Development Board, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
The meeting was held to devise a viable framework for establishing the much-needed Pashmina Wool Bank in the Kashmir region of UT of J&K.
It was emphasized in the meeting that the proposed Pashmina Wool Bank shall ensure adequate availability of certified/graded Pashmina wool for the weavers and artisan community in Kashmir and shall also help to restructure the Pashmina wool sector to make it more viable and competitive.
It was also acknowledged that the intended Pashmina wool bank shall go a long way to improve the socio-economic conditions among the herding Changthang communities for sustainable long-term incomes by procuring bulk raw Pashmina wool from them at suitable prices or MSP.
The initiative aims to provide critical marketing support for stakeholders associated with the production and processing of Pashmina fibre by making it readily available at standard prices.
There was an elaborate discussion about the possible value-addition practices of Pashmina Wool which includes de-hairing, carding and spinning and the importance of having a robust ecosystem in the Pashmina industry consisting of well-established forward and backward linkages.
It was said that the aim of the project is to recognize the economic and cultural importance of Pashmina in providing livelihood opportunities to the lakhs of breeders, artisans and traders across Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
Moreover, it was also given out that the Directorate is exploring possible areas under the PPP model (Private Public Partnership) with major stakeholders like TAHAFUZ Society, Kashmir Pashmina Organization (KPO) and Kashmir Karigar Union in order to have synergized efforts for result-oriented output, safeguarding this ancient craft and restoring it to its pristine glory.
The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir in the first instance is planning to procure raw Pashmina Wool from Changthang breeders and is planning to enter into a tripartite agreement with the Ladakh Administration and Changthang Breeders Society in this regard.
Later, the Pashmina shall be tested and de-haired at the Pashmina Testing and Quality Certification Centre, CDI and shall be given to registered artisans and weavers for further processing.
The meeting was attended by Joint Director, Handicrafts Kashmir, representatives from TAHAFUZ Society, Kashmir Pashmina Organisation, and Kashmir Karigar Association besides other officers from SKUAST-K and CDI.