KATHMANDU, May 12: One hundred and fifty farmers from the Mustang district have received training on pashmina fiber combing and harvesting to add higher value to their products and thus comply better with global market requirements.
A week-long training that concluded on Saturday also capacitated 35 trainers including farmers from Mustang and Manang and business support organizations from Kathmandu, to become trainers themselves, multiplying their knowledge to more farming communities. Among them were lead farmers from Mustang and Manang, the Mustang Chyangra Farmers’ Association, the Nepal Pashmina Industry Association (NPIA), the Nepal Agricultural Research Center and district level personnel.
Ganesh Prasad Pandeya, Secretary at the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies in Nepal, said, “I feel this will greatly benefit farmers and the country’s Pashmina sector in the days to come. The Government of Nepal recognizes the importance and strength of Nepal’s pashmina industry. To this end, the government has been providing its support through its policies, strategy and programs for the sector’s value-chain development.”
The training organized under the Trade and Investment Programme (TIP) financed by the European Union (EU) and implemented with technical support from the International Trade Centre (ITC) focused on combing methods as well as sorting and grading the pashmina fiber. The training was held in four rural municipalities in the district including Lo-Manthang, Lo-Ghekar Damodarkunda, Baragung Muktichhetra and Gharapjhong.
Sabyr Toigonbaey, a leading expert from Kyrgyzstan’s mountain region, trained the designated trainers, while capacitated farmers from Mustang carried out the second training themselves.
Matthias Knappe, Program Manager and Head of Fibers of Textiles and Clothing at the International Trade Centre, during the training’s launch, shared, “Our project has established strong partnerships with key stakeholders along the pashmina value chain. This collaborative approach is crucial to developing a strong Nepali pashmina supply chain. ITC is providing training to farmers on appropriate fiber harvesting, sorting, grading, and storage methods to help farmers produce a product of high quality that subsequently can be transformed domestically by the partners involved.”
Karan Tangbe, President of the Mustang Chyangra Farmers’ Association, said that farmers did not know the importance of combing their goats’ fibers before the training and they used to sell their fibers to traders from Tibet. “Now they are aware of the national market interest and the benefits for the animal and final product of fiber combing,” he further said.
“Every farmer is welcome to come to our collection center and sell their fiber to the Nepal Pashmina Industry Association,” said Vijoy Dugar, President of the Nepal Pashmina Industry Association. “Regardless of the amount, we will pay a competitive price. The higher the quality the higher the price. Together we can boost the Nepali pashmina sector.”