SRINAGAR: Geographic Indication (GI) tagging appears to have effectively promoted Kashmiri handicrafts. In the first quarter of 2023, handicrafts worth Rs 208.21 crore were exported from Jammu and Kashmir to the rest of the world. This constitutes 55 percent of the exports recorded during April-September last year.
Official figures reveal that handicrafts worth Rs 375.97 crore were exported from Kashmir during April-September 2022, spanning almost two quarters. Notably, last year, handicrafts exports from Jammu and Kashmir reached the Rs 1,116.37 crore mark.
During the first quarter this year, the most significant growth has been observed in carpet exports. In Quarter 1, carpets valued at Rs 88.92 crore were exported. Rumals and Shawls, amounting to Rs 79.95 crore, were exported during the first quarter.
In Quarter 1, chain stitch exports totalled Rs 32.85 crore, and during that period, Papier Machie products were exported for Rs 2.23 crore. Exports of woodcarving and other items totalled Rs 2.54 crore during the first quarter.
Kashmir recently acquired GI tagging for its renowned handicrafts, including Pashmina shawls, carpets, and exquisite Papier-mâché items. The GI tagging ensures the authenticity and origin of these products, providing protection against duplication and counterfeiting while also enhancing their marketability in international trade.
Earlier this year, in May, the G20 summit was held in Kashmir, during which numerous handicraft products were displayed to attract visiting delegates. While the delegates acknowledged the artistry behind these handicrafts, many of them explored Srinagar areas and made purchases.
An official stated that the G20 summit and GI tagging have boosted the sales of Kashmiri handicrafts. “There has been a strong demand for Kashmiri handicrafts this year. The G20 summit has promoted our craft, as the demand for Kashmiri handicrafts is higher in European countries,” he said.
Notably, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced on Friday that the Jammu and Kashmir administration will work to provide infrastructure support to the artisans.
(With inputs from KNO)