Buyer eye on strawberry & Manipur murhas

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By Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 29.01.09

Guwahati, Jan. 29: Products made from 25 clusters in the Northeast managed to strike a chord with buyers at the two-day cluster conclave that concluded at the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship here today.

The conclave was organised by the ministry of panchayati raj, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, and ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises to provide market linkages to cluster products.

Eliciting a keen response, the buyers appreciated the uniqueness of the products, which are in great demand, and called for developing economies of scale to bring down prices and the need to work on designs.

The clusters were in four major sectors — cane and bamboo, handloom and khadi, handicraft and food processing.

Sriparna B. Baruah, a faculty member of IIE and the programme in-charge, said there was a great response from the buyers to the products made by the clusters of the region.

She said there is a huge demand for baskets and dry flowers of Meghalaya while the prospect of tie-ups with the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Artfed for buyback of furniture from Barpeta could be explored.

“Artfed has ordered 1,000 murhas and decorative baskets from Dhubri,” Baruah said. “Organisations like Fabindia have appreciated the products of the cane and bamboo cluster of Pallel in Manipur,” she added.

Ficci, Artfed, North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation, NERAMAC, Assam Government Marketing Corporation, Jaipur Rugs Corporate Private Ltd, North Eastern Small Scale Association, Indian Chamber of Commerce and other private firms were among the buyers at the meet.

A participant from Assam demonstrates traditional
methods of weaving at the conclave on Thursday. Picture by Eastern Projections

The handicrafts and handlooms corporation has been identified as a potential buyer of the kouna craft items of Manipur.

The buyers underscored the need to develop economies of scale to bring down price and the need to work on designs on the jute-making cluster.

On the traditional dressmaking cluster of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, buyers emphasised the need for product diversification and weighed the possibility of tie-ups with Jaipur Rugs Corporate Private Ltd for the carpet-making cluster of Tawang.

There was a huge response for strawberry, passion fruits and organic honey. The buyers expressed interest in bulk purchase of strawberries. “There was no dearth of demand for passion fruits as both individual and institutional buyers showed interest,” Baruah said.

On the handloom sector, the buyers emphasised simple designs, the need for a better feel, colour trend and motif apart from finishing.

In regard to muga, the conclave felt a need for a softer texture and blending of eri and soft wool.