Nepal’s Pashmina Export Strategy validated as part of EU-Trade and Investment Project
(Pokhara/Geneva) – At a two-day workshop organized under the EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Programme (TIP) in Pokhara on 25 and 26 March 2021, Pashmina stakeholders along the entire value chain validated the sector’s export strategy to strengthen backward integration in Nepal.
More than 40 stakeholders from federal and provincial governments, public institutions, business associations and development partners, convened to validate the strategy’s action plan developed by the International Trade Centre (ITC), focusing on backward linkages, from fibre production to manufacturing and export.
Participants also discussed pilot activities in Mustang within the Trade and Investment Programme that will create business synergies between the manufacturers and the goat farmers harvesting Pashmina fibre.
Farmers harvesting Pashmina fibre in the remote parts of upper Himalaya can now look forward to increased support that will result in higher quantity, improved fibre quality and most importantly, higher prices.
Mr. Dinesh Bhattrai, Secretary of Commerce and Supplies at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) chaired the consultation along with Dr. Ganesh Prasad Pandey, Joint Secretary at the Ministry. The Secretary described the EU project as timely and recognized the importance of taking proactive measures to stimulate the sector, being one of the priority sectors for export development identified by the Government of Nepal in the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS). He added that Pashmina is a manifestation of Nepali identity and culture, cherished and shared in the rest of the world.
Mr. Olivier Marty, Senior Trade Strategy Adviser at ITC reiterated the need to build consensus and support for the export strategy’s action plan. The strategy focuses on establishing a favourable policy and regulatory framework as well as reinforcing the institutional support to access markets and prepare for post-COVID-19 recovery.
The European Union Delegation to Nepal, Mr. Mim Hamal highlighted that the Pashmina sector strategy fits perfectly with Nepal’s development objectives, as it aspires to graduate from least developed country (LDC) category by 2022 and being in line with government policies, notably the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy. The EU, opening its single market to Nepali products, is proud to be associated with this initiative. Mr. Hamal believes that the sector has the potential to contribute to reducing rural poverty and creating decent jobs for women and youth.
Ms. Sabnam Shivakoti, Secretary at the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative, Gandaki Province stressed that the Chyangra Pashmina sector has tremendous opportunities in product development and emphasized that the strategy will help address the challenges in fibre production, linking the farmers to the industry. She also assured the Ministry is committed to work with all stakeholders.
Mr. Lopsang Chhompel Bista, President of Lo Ghekar Damodar Kunda Rural Municipality remarked that it is high time for directing interventions to farmers to enhance production and productivity of Chyangra in the region to be able to develop the Pashmina sector. He emphasized the need for linking Chyangra goat production with Nepal’s Pashmina Industry.
The Pashmina Sector Export Strategy includes a detailed five-year action plan that provides a solid foundation for the sector’s growth, including developing backward integration. To achieve this, it is key to strengthen the capacities of pashmina-related trade support institutions and the entire value chain, especially connecting farmers to the market.
ITC’s Trade and Investment Programme will work closely with and capacitate Chyangra pashmina farmers who will benefit from fibre value-addition and improved competitiveness.
About the EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Programme
The EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Programme (TIP) is a four-year programme funded by the European Union (EU), to assist the Government of Nepal to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction by increasing trade and participation in regional and global value-chains.
Note to the Editor - About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, visit www.intracen.org. Follow ITC on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Flickr