150 farmers from Mustang receive training on pashmina fiber combing and harvesting

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: A total of 150 farmers from Mustang district, one of the remote areas in Nepal, have received training on pashmina fiber combing and harvesting to add higher value to their products and thus, comply better with global market requirements.

The over one week-long training wrapped up last Saturday also capacitated 35 trainers including farmers from Mustang and Manang, and business support organizations from Kathmandu, to become trainers themselves, thus 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 Centre 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 sector in the days to come. We all have gathered here to support you and listen to your challenges. The Government of Nepal recognizes Nepal’s pashmina industry’s importance and strength. 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. It took place in the rural municipalities of 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, Programme Manager and Head of Fibres of Textiles and Clothing at the International Trade Centre, added during the training’s launch, “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 the training was successful.

“Before the training, farmers did not know the importance of combing their goats’ fibers and were also used to sell their fibers to Tibet. Now they are aware of the national market interest and the benefits for the animal and final product of fiber combing,” he 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. According to the quality, the higher the price will be. Together, we can boost the Nepali pashmina sector.”