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Sub Sectors

The RNFS Sector – Current Scenario

The Rural Non Farm Sector (RNFS) holds the key to foster economic development of the country. It has potential and promise for generating employment and enhanced incomes in the rural areas. Hence, not only Rajasthan but also other states including agency like NABARD have identified financing, development and promotion of RNFS as one of their thrust areas. Rajasthan is the first State in the country to have announced the Rural Non-farm Development Policy for the promotion of the non-farm sector as an alternate strategy for generating additional avenues of employment particularly in the rural areas. Looking to the potential, three sub-sectors - leather, wool & Textile and minor-mineral have been taken up for the focused development under the Rural Non Farm Development Policy, 1995 which has now been expanded to include handloom, khadi and village industry also.

 

Leather Sub-Sector

Keeping in view the large natural resource base of hides and skins produced in the State, RUDA has taken up integrated package by providing all backward and forward linkages in selected areas like Mangrol (Baran), Manpur-Machedi, Udaipuria (Jaipur), Beawar (Ajmer), Bhinmal (Sirohi) Jaitaran (Pali) and Nagaur; so as to develop them as areas of excellence. An integral part of the strategy is to organize the artisans into producer groups and providing them incentives as well as creating proper infrastructure facilities by setting up several Common Facilities Centre for development of leather shoes, mojari goods and garments. Operation Mojari has been a success showcasing the efforts of RUDA with help from UNDP.

 

Wool And Textile Sub-Sector

Rajasthan produces around 40% of the country's raw wool and this sector supports nearly 30 lakh persons. It is aimed that greater value addition may be given to raw wool through promoting scientific methods of shearing, sorting, grading and other services. Sheep rearers have been organised into producers associations. Product diversification of woolen products is being done in association with NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi) and RCWPDS (Rajasthan Carpet and Woolen Products development Society, Jaipur). To augment the skill base of carpet industry, RUDA is supporting it by providing training of artisans. The traditional Namda industry in Tonk district has been special assistance in product development and design up-gradation. In view of the critical importance of the wool & Textile sub-sector, RUDA will continue to devise need-based interventions in areas like training, design, technology up-gradation, market support, seminars etc.

 

Minor Mineral Sub-Sector

The strategy for the development of this sector aims at improving the skills of the workers engaged in the mineral processing industry. Also additional employment is being generated through programmes which impart skills in Stone carving, leith work, Semi precious stone processing, pneumatic tools, terracotta product making and blue pottery craft. A major intervention has been started for design up-gradation in blue pottery, stone artifacts and terracotta products The red sandstone cluster in Manpur and Sikandra has become a hub of economic activity and income levels of the artisan groups have increased manifold. Efforts have been initiated to protect rights of the artisans by intellectual property rights. Recently GI registration has been obtained for blue pottery and molella crafts. International exposure for artisans of this sector is being provided through active participation in fairs like India Stone Mart , Jaipur, STONA, Bangalore and Cera Glass India.

 

Handicrafts

The exports of handicrafts from Rajasthan in 2003-2004 stood at Rs 1800 crores as against 1200 crores in the previous year, with a growth rate of 33%. Every district has its distinctive handicrafts and over 7 lac craft persons are employed in this activity. The new policy must focus on revival of traditional dying crafts, heritage promotion and craft based livelihood for combating drought as well as expanding export earnings from this sector. The share of Indian handicrafts is only 0.08% in the world market while China in just 5 years has cornered 56% of the export market. In Rajasthan the earnings have risen from 733 crores in 1990 to 1800 crores in 2003. Indian Institute of Crafts & Design (IICD) has been set up by the State Government with a mandate to create a new cadre of highly skilled and motivated Design-Techno Managers who can contribute towards sustaining modernization and accelerating the growth of craft centres in the State. The Institute offers training courses to craft persons both at its principal seat at Jaipur and outreaches in the districts. It will also provide important inputs by way of designs, technological improvements, market intelligence and product innovation. RUDA networks with both IICD and NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmadabad) for conducting baseline research, design programmes and project preparation. RAJSICO (Rajasthan Small scale Industries Corporation) also promotes handicrafts and has provided a single show-window for the crafts of Rajasthan and other parts of India along with tourism related facilities e.g. travel centers, exchange counters in Jaipur, New Delhi and other places. This enables tourists to have a complete package under one roof. In order to make the Indian handicrafts globally competitive in quality, RAJSICO is developing quality benchmarking in association with internationally experienced agencies. All Rajasthali goods would be brought under this benchmarking. The new proposal to set up a Rajasthan Handicraft Promotion Board will also energize this potential sector. Already Jodhpur has become a leading export zone for handicrafts. FORHEX (Federation of Rajasthan Handicraft Exporters, Jaipir) and RUDA are also working in the direction of taking up new craft clusters for revival and mainstreaming of traditional handicrafts in modern markets.

 

Handloom

The Handloom Sector has an edge over the power loom and mill sectors, in its ability to produce goods commercially in small volumes, rapid switchover to new designs and creation of aesthetically appealing designs which cannot be woven on power looms. According to the last survey completed in the year 1995-96 there are 66,000 active weaver families in Rajasthan and about 700 weavers' cooperative societies. The principal goal of the State Government's efforts in the Handloom Sector would be to extend the coverage of weavers and to provide them with enhanced earnings. The main plank of the development strategy for the handloom sector would be a focused approach in respect of identified high value products and clusters. Handloom products which are no longer competitive must be phased out and greater attention given to commercially viable products meant both for the domestic and foreign markets..

 

Khadi and Village Industry

Rajasthan is the biggest producer of woolen Khadi in the country and ranks third in the overall Khadi production. Under Village Industries, the State's total production is of the order of Rs.270 crores. Through these twin activities, the sector provides regular or subsidiary employment to an estimated 4.25-lac people. The strategy for this Sector would have to be increasingly more market-oriented. Steps will be needed to ensure commercial viability of the activities which have so far been run on 'no profit no loss' basis. It is essential, therefore, to strengthen the Board's managerial, technical and marketing capabilities. Special emphasis will have to be given to human resource development, which would include designing of new policy for personnel, their training and orientation as well as placement. The Khadi and Village Industries institutions must be strengthened by the Board through support in the field of management, design and credit. Training to institution personnel will be imparted to reorient their outlook. The Khadi Institutions will be made more market and product conscious. Along with RUDA, these bodies must closely network the Khadi and Village Industries Sector with National Institute of Fashion Technology, National Institute of Design, Wool Development Board, Jodhpur and Wool Research Association, Pune. Linkages would also be established with the private sector for marketing and export of khadi products.