Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) with support of office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) in association with Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry organised a seminar at Port Blair on 30th January, 2018 for “Promotion of Exports of Handicrafts from Andaman & Nicobar Islands.”

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a long chain of Islands located in the Southeastern part of the Bay of Bengal. Handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have vast potential in the world market. Wood and other forest products are available here in abundance. Paudauk, Badam and Gurjan are the main varieties of useful timbers found on these islands Canes and bamboo are also available in large amounts. Other natural resource is the marine life. It includes coral, shells, driftwood and seaweeds, Trancs, tortoise and turbos are the main types of the shells. The main handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar are created from these raw materials. They include exotic wood crafts, ornaments from sea-shell and palm mats. However, the crafts which are predominant in the Andaman group of Islands are different from the specialised crafts of the Nicobar group of islands like, wood work, cane and bamboo shell craft, wood work, basketry and mat making and cross bows.

In view of above, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts organised one-day seminar. Rashmi Singh, Secretary, Secretary (Genl. Admn)/Social n Welfare inaugurated the above seminar in presence of OP Prahladka, Chairman-EPCH, Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director EPCH, Grish Arora, President, Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Port Blair, Poonam Arora, Chairperson, Social Welfare Board, Andaman & Nicobar Island along with dignitaries. During Seminar, a mini display of local craft persons were also arranged. The object of such display and seminar was to provide linkage of artisans with exporters from different city of India such as Delhi Jodhpur, Jaipur Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai etc.

Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director-EPCH speaking on the occasion informed the participants that such interaction with the craft persons will create an opportunity to market the crafts of Andaman Nicobar Islands. A team of around 25 leading member exporters of handicrafts directly interacted with primary producers to identify potential crafts. The seminar focused on understanding the present status of the crafts that are being practiced in this region and their potential for Indian as well as export market by giving value addition and inputs to the entrepreneurs. Inaugural Session was followed by technical presentations and interactive sessions mainly based on three basic fundamentals “Export What, Where & How?”

Kumar speaking on the occasion further said that EPCH has been working in close coordination with O/o Development Commissioner Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India to encourage local entrepreneurs and artisans in various craft clusters on pan India basis by giving value addition in their existing items, by introducing new handicrafts product range and using the locally available resources/raw materials which enables them to market their products according to the requirement and lifestyle of buyers in national and international markets.

The Chairman-EPCH OP Prahaldka emphasized communication about the craft and quality consciousness to market the products to buyer. He informed that EPCH was established in 1986-87 as an apex body of handicrafts exporters for promotion of exports of handicrafts from country and today, the Council is having more than 11,000 registered exporters spread all over the country with exports to the tune of Rs. 24,392 cr during 2016-17.

Rashmi Singh, Secretary (Genl. Admn)/Social Welfare expressed her satisfaction about the design support provided to the women artisans in developing craft of coconut shell, coir and cane and bamboo. Girish Arora, President Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that their chamber ACCI is ready to extend all infrastructure support to the entrepreneur of Andaman and Nicobar. Sudhir Tyagi, Past Chairman-EPCH was present on the occasion alongwith Ravi K Passi, Vice-Chairman-EPCH.

Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director-EPCH invited Chamber, NGOs, SHGs to visit forthcoming IHGF Delhi Fair Spring’2018 to be held from 23-27 February’2018 at India Expo Centre, New Delhi Greater Noida Expressway for exposure to the artisans about craft made for international market.