Kathmandu gears up for South Asian handicraft festival «

Kathmandu gears up for South Asian handicraft festival

Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), Nepal is organizing South Asian Festival on Handicrafts: Meetings and Marketplaces in Kathmandu from Friday.
The highlight of the three-day festival will be the launch of Nepal Ko, a new brand of exquisite handicrafts produced by Nepali artisans. Crafts from India and Pakistan will also be showcased in this mega event, according to the organizer.
Around 200 products categorized under 10 different skill sets will be displayed at 20 stalls – 18 for Nepali and one each for Indian and Pakistani crafts.
The festival aims at promoting a wide range of handicrafts produced by Nepali artisans supported by Making Markets Work for Conflict-Affected in Nepal, a PAF-implemented project.
The event is a marketing platform to showcase the Artisan livelihood initiatives implemented by PAF Nepal, and similar initiatives from neighbouring countries. It also aims at facilitating a dialogue between different stakeholders in the region and is expected to promote cross-cultural learning and interactions.
According to PAF’s Executive Director Nahakul KC, “The objective of the project is to increase the share of rural artisans – especially from the poorest, landless and conflict-affected communities – in the crafts and cultural market.”
“The project has benefitted poor and disadvantaged people including women and persons with disabilities, particularly from the areas affected by the conflict and social unrest,” he added.
PAF has been implementing this project in seven districts including Dailekh, Dang, Dhanusa, Terhathum, Kapilvastu, Myagdi and Gorkha, enabling skilled artisans to increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods by connecting them to markets. The project is supported by the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) and managed by the World Bank.
Under this project, PAF has successfully impacted more than 7,500 rural artisans through 365 Producer Groups and 10 registered Producer Federations. Each PG comprises 20-25 individuals running startups and small enterprises. PAF has also helped set up 10 Common Facility Centers (CFCs) equipped with modern equipment, beside other facilities such as raw material stores that are now used by artisans to produce high quality marketable produces for the global market.
The handicrafts produced by the PAF-supported artisans will be showcased and sold during the festival, which will be inaugurated by Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki.
Visitors can explore a variety of handicrafts made with Allo (Himalayan Nettle), Lokta, wool, moonj grass and recycle papers. The festival will also be a platform where craft and art aficionados can meet and interact with more than 100 Nepali artisans, craftsmen and Mithila painters, who will be promoting their authentic indigenous products.