NABARD celebrates 7th National Handloom Day

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Bhubaneswar: NABARD celebrated 7th National Handloom Day in an august function on Wednesday providing live coverage of the programme across the State via online platform.

Subha Sarma, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary,  Handloom, Textile and Handicrafts, Govt of Odisha was the Chief Guest on the occasion. C Udayabhaskar, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Jyoti Prakash  Das,  IAS, Director Handloom & Textile and also in additional charge of Managing Director of Boyanika,  S.K Hota, Additional Director Industries, Govt of Odisha,  S.K Mohanty, Director  Khadi, and Village Industries Commission, ,  Shovan Krishna Sahu, IRS,  Director, National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT)  Bhubaneswar, additional charge of NIFT Kolkata,  Arupananda Jena, Convenor SLBC,  Nodal officer of District Handloom & Handicraft, Lead District Managers, District Development Managers of NABARD, Handloom Producer Companies,  Various Weavers Societies, Master weavers, traders, startups, exporters and other stakeholders of NABARD participated in the programme.

In his welcome address, C. Udayabhaskar, Chief General Manager, NABARD, highlighted the contribution of handloom weavers in Odisha’s long tradition of excellence in making high quality handloom products with extraordinary skills and craftsmanship.  He emphasized the major contribution of NABARD in promotion of Handloom Sector through promotion of Off Farm Producer Organisations (OFPOs) by identifying existing critical gaps in infrastructure, skills, process, technology, design, credit, marketing and other related services. These OFPOs are expected to facilitate the entire value chain, right from procurement of raw material up to the delivery of the final product at the ultimate consumer’s doorstep. In Odisha, NABARD has promoted 05 OFPOs and two are in handlooms. They are Dungupalli Bunkar Producer Company Ltd in Sonepur and Kendujhari Bunkar Producer Company Ltd in Keonjhar. He also underscored that  NABARD  has mini OFPO and DPR based Projects which give flexibility to do projects as per the need at the ground level. NABARD  through its refinance, direct financing, promotional programmes as well as financing through subsidiaries helped the handloom sector to grow. NABARD is promoting marketing through exhibitions, melas, buyer salers meet, promotion of rural mart and haat besides facilitating promotion of GI tag of unique handloom products. NABARD is also promoting micro-enterprise and livelihood enterprises through various escort services of handloom weavers through partner agencies. NABKISAN, a subsidiary of NABARD provides collateral-free loan to OFPOs and impresed upon the need for a special credit plan for 1.22 lakh weavers in the State.   He also emphasized that one Off Farm Producer Organisation in Jajpur district would be promoted by NABARD in coming days.  He urged upon the fact that a collaborative effort among NABARD, Directorate of Handloom, and NIFT Bhubaneswar is needed to make a big dent in development of handloom weavers in the state.    He impressed upon Director NIFT to provide training programme to weavers for which NABARD would provide all logistic support.

Smt Subha Sarma, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary,  Handloom, Textile and Handicrafts, Govt of Odisha congratulated NABARD for commemorating National Handloom Day. In her address, she appreciated NABARD for its consistent endeavors, initiatives and contributions to rural development and constant support and active involvement in the development of Rural Sectors especially handloom in Odisha through promotion of Off Farm Producer Organisations (OFPOs)/ Mini OFPOs, Skill Development. Micro and livelihood enterprise development of handloom women SHGs .She stated that NABARD through its initiatives like Exhibitions Melas/ Rural Haat / Rural Mart, market and weavers interface programme are creating opportunities for better price discovery by poor artisans. She emphasized the need for making Odisha Handloom world famous.

Jyoti Prakash Das, IAS, Director Handloom & Textile and additional charge of   Managing Director, BOYANIKA  gave emphasis that 1.22 lakh weavers and 66531 weavers families are there in the state.  He said the size of handloom economy is Rs 500 cr. The state govt is supporting weavers through schemes like  Workshed cum Housing up toRs 1.2 lakh per weaver, technology development involving loom up-gradation, providing spectacles to weavers etc .  He highlighted that during COVID pandemic, BOYANIKA, Sambalpuri Bastralaya, and SERIFED did a business of Rs 90 cr, 60cr, and 10cr respectively in providing marketing support to weavers.  He emphasized that Behera Haat in Bargarh is the largest handloom haat in the country wherein Govt is focusing to modernize with an investment of  Rs 10 cr so that 500 weavers can work at one time.

Shovan Krishna Sahu, Director NIFT Bhubaneswar congratulated NABARD for organizing the event to mark  National Handloom Day and emphasized the need for product diversification and e-marketing to overcome the challenges faced by the present-day weavers of the state. He underscored that NIFT is providing artisan training regularly as most of the designs are short-lived and need constant value addition. He urged upon for more collaborative effort among NABARD, NIFT, and the Directorate of Handloom, Govt of Odisha.  He suggested for more immersion programmes for weavers by NIFT for quality product diversification and design development.

Arupanananda Jena congratulated NABARD  on the occasion and reiterated to fulfill the credit needs of artisan through MUDRA loan.  Since most of the women weavers are linked to SHGs, the handloom weavers should take advantage of hassle-free low-cost credit at 4 % from banks.

On this occasion, a training programme was launched for 500 weavers across 16 handloom clustered districts with emphasis on marketing, design, and OFPO scheme.  Awards were given to 04weavers having excellence in pre-loom activities, skill, design innovation, and marketing, one each from  Sonepur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjar, and Bargarh districts. The awards were presented by the District Development Manager of NABARD on behalf of Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Handloom, Textile and Handicrafts, Govt of Odisha.

One leaflet of NABARD on “Off Farm Producer Organization Scheme”  was also unveiled on the occasion.

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