JODHPUR IS TOWN OF EXPORT EXCELLENCE
FOR HANDICRAFTS and GUAR GUM JAIRAM RAMESH
GOVERNMENT LOOKING TO DOUBLE GUAR GUM EXPORTS IN 5 YEARS
Date : 30 Dec 2006
Location : New Delhi
Ramesh, Minister of State of Commerce who was on a visit to Jodhpur today said
that “Jodhpur has emerged as India’s second largest exporter of handicrafts”.
Elaborating, he said that Jodhpur follows Moradabad and it has around 400 units
employing around a lakh people and exporting close to Rs 700 crores. The exports
are mainly of woodcrafts.
visited the Common Facility Centre set up by the Export Council for Handicrafts
(EPCH) with assistance from the Union Ministry of Commerce in Jodhpur. He
emphasized the importance of the Common Facility Centre to provide design
assistance to small and medium entrepreneurs. He
promised all support to the EPCH to further develop wooden, wrought iron and
sea-shell handicrafts from
Jodhpur. The Minister announced
that Jodhpur has been declared, along with eleven other places in the country,
as a “town of export excellence” for handicrafts which entitles entrepreneurs in
the city to special facilities for infrastructure and export marketing.
Other such towns include Ludhiana (woolen knitwear), Panipat (woolen blanket),
Dewas (pharmaceuticals), Kollam (cashew), Alapuzzha (coir), Madurai (handlooms)
and Tiruppur (hosiery).
also interacted with the guar gum manufacturing industry to identify measures to
boost exports of guar gum. Shri Ramesh highlighted the fact that India accounts
for over 80% of the total guar produced in the world and 70% of this is
cultivated in Rajasthan alone.
Jodhpur is the country’s leading
centre of the guar gum manufacturing industry.
Guar is a drought-resistant crop from which guar gum is extracted for use as
thickener, emulsifier and stabilizer in the food, pharmaceutical, textile,
paper, oil drilling and other industries.
Ramesh said that in 2005/06, India exported over Rs 1000 crores of guar gum,
half of which was to the USA alone. The Union Commerce Ministry is now working
towards doubling these exports in the next five years,
mainly through the involvement of women’s self-help groups (SHGs) in guar
cultivation. This would greatly enhance incomes for farmers as well. About 9
lakh families in Rajasthan and other states like Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab
depend on guar cultivation. Guar is also an important source of nutrition to
animals and is being consumed as a vegetable and cattle feed. While
complimenting the industry, he stressed the need to promote value-added exports
since presently, guar powder alone accounts for 60% of the exports. The
benefits of value-addition should flow directly to farmers and not be cornered
by industrialists, Shri Ramesh added.
Indian Guar Gum Manufacturers Association represented to the Minister of State
for Commerce their demand to ban guar seed and guar gum from forward trading.
The Association feels that forward trading has created serious problems for
exporters and had benefited only speculators. They said
that in the absence of the ban, international buyers are now increasingly
diverting their orders to
Pakistan. Shri Ramesh assured the Association that he had already
taken up the matter with the Forward Markets Commission.
The whole idea of forward trading, he said, was to benefit farmers and not
traders and speculators.