Kathmandu, August 19:

Export of Nepali handicrafts — one of the major foreign currency earners — is sliding down.

Though, the export of Nepali handicrafts decreased by only one per cent in 2007-08 in comparison to 2006-07, it has been decreasing continuously for last couple of years.

“It has been more than three years that we are witnessing a decline in export of the handicrafts,” Krishna Sundar Hada, senior assistant at Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) said.

A recent data of FHAN reveals that it exported the total goods worth Rs 2.71 billion in 2006-07 but it fell down to Rs 2.68 billion in 2007-08, a decrease by one per cent.

Textile has contributed 55 per cent and non-textile products registered 45 per cent to the total export, according to the data. Textile products worth Rs 1.46 billion were exported while Rs 1.21 billion worth non-textile product were exported during the period.

Among the textile products also, the export of Pashmina increased by 19 per cent to Rs 584 million while woolen goods decreased by 21 per cent to Rs 373 million. Export of hemp has posted a growth of nine per cent to Rs 31 million and cotton goods registered a growth of three per cent to Rs 105 million, said the FHAN.

However, export of Dhaka products plunged by 18 per cent to Rs 1.8 million during the period.

During the last fiscal year, Rs 2.19 million worth Dhaka products were exported. Likewise, Allo goods also witnessed a slump in export by one per cent to Rs 4.84 million.

In the non-textile category, most products registered a decline, except bamboo and miscellaneous products that include rayon, Polyester, Velvet and Jute.

The bamboo export increased by 97 per cent while miscellaneous goods’ export increased by 65 per cent.

Export of silver jewellery plunged by seven per cent to Rs 345 million from Rs 371 million in 2006-07, while metal crafts export posted a decline of two per cent to Rs 372 million. Handmade paper product export, too dipped by two per cent to Rs 236 million. Fall in the export of handmade paper products is mainly due to deficit supply because of difficulty in collection of Daphne plants, the raw material for handmade paper, said the FHAN.

Similarly, export of woodcraft, bone horn products, incense sticks, plastic items, leather goods, and ceramics products, Paubha (Thanka), Beads items, Stone also decreased remarkably.

“There is remarkable decline in most of the textile and non-textile products in 2007-08. Political instability caused the delay in delivery leading to a whopping decline in export,” he said.

“Though Pashmina export seem to have increased but its not even 50 per cent of the export in the years ahead.

The fluctuations in the value of dollar has also hit the export,” Hada added.

In recent days, export of major foreign currency earners are plummetting and the government

has not been able to help the exporters.

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KATHMANDU: The top five countries contributing to the total exports, according to the country wise data:

USA (24 per cent)

Germany (nine per cent)

Japan (nine per cent)

UK (eight per cent)

Italy (eight per cent)