Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 30:

For the first time in the history of Handicraft Association of Nepal (HAN), handicrafts entrepreneurs and the government have joined hands to promote the handicrafts industry by establishing Handicrafts Design and Development Centre (HANDECEN).

Bikash Ratna Dhakwa, chairman of Handicrafts Design and Development Centre (HANDECEN) said that the objective of the centre is to enhance quality of handicrafts’ projects to boost export, expand and establish knowledge-based infrastructures thereby boosting human resources, imparting training to adopt new technologies for innovation of contemporary crafts and upgrade prevalent technologies to develop marketable products.

“Designs created by various designers are yet to be explored fully in a commercialised way,” opined Dhakwa. “Similarly, commercial uses of our ‘arts and crafts’ have to be expanded to advance this industry.” According to him, the centre will also investigate design patterns and promote them commercially.

“One of the major objectives of the centre is also to blend traditional arts into modern products,” said Dhakwa. Despite Nepal having a number of original products, it has not been able to heed about copy rights/trade markets/patent rights issues. In days ahead, the design centre will also focus its work on research and analysis of products, training and market research and market development, he said.

Kalyan Krishna Tamrakar, president of HAN, said that we could not promote our products effectively in the past despite huge potentials. Tamrakar said that people are not getting attracted towards this sector. “In such a situation, we need to boost this sector to uplift many from abject poverty,” said Tamrakar.

Tamrakar added that HAN would gradually move forward for establishing a Craft Village in which all facilities from product development to promotion, to boost handicrafts products will be made available for entrepreneurs. Presently, there are over 42 kinds of handicrafts products in Nepal.

“If the design centre could work effectively, handicrafts export in five years will be doubled,” hoped Tamrakar. He complained that despite handicrafts being free from VAT, an importing duty on raw materials still exist. Dhakwa said that, HANDECEN is in operation with support from the government and HAN.