The region is endowed with a rich repository of arts and crafts, like bamboo and cane items, basketry, carving, hand embroidery, textiles, jute craft, that are eco-friendly. However, despite the vast reservoir of resources, exports from the region have been insignificant, says the study, Prospects for Exports of Handicrafts from North Eastern Region of India, done by the Exim Bank recently.
Calling for more central and state focus on policy initiatives in the region, the study highlights various constraints and bottlenecks faced by the handicrafts sector in the north-east, like supply, product development and the absence of basic financial and infrastructural facilities etc.
The global market for handicraft exports in 2003 was estimated at $150 billion, with household glassware at $4.2 billion, ceramic household articles at $3.6 billion and tufted acrpets at $3.4 billion. In 2004-05, export of handicraft items from India were over $3.5 billion, according to the study.
In a world driven by consumer preferences, handicrafs have come to occupy an important part of lifestyle products in international markets,, the study says. Products from the north-east could reap this potential by reinventing products. This can be done through ugradation in production techniques, diversification and ICT interface in the value chain, it added.