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Home > Institutional Grants > Rural Livelihoods and Communities > Himmothan Pariyojana
 
Himalayan Nettle fibre: a community-based approach to sustainable harvesting, value addition and marketing
 
Organisation
Himmotthan Society (Himmotthan), Dehradun
Project name
Himalayan Nettle fibre: a community-based approach to sustainable harvesting, value addition and marketing
Grant operationalised
August 2009
Duration
3 years
Grant amount sanctioned
Rs. 12.53 million

Activities within the grant:
The project would take up the best practices identified in the pilot and scale up the same through a cluster-based approach to ensure better value for money through fibre-based applications, besides diversifying the existing usage patterns of fibre in new areas identified. It would be implemented through three partners, with support from UBFDB, in different parts of the state, to achieve all-inclusive growth of the natural fibre sector of Uttarakhand. Interventions will be focused in the following manner:

Raw material collection and primary processing in three blocks of Chamoli district (Dewal, Dasoli and Joshimath)
Centralised secondary processing at Ghat in Chamoli district
Yarn and product development (Munsyari in Pithoragarh district and Ghat in Chamoli district)
Carding (Chamba, Tehri district)
Marketing, which will be carried out from Dehradun.

A total of 14 clusters will be covered under the project, reaching out to 300 artisans directly and 700 community members indirectly. The project aims to establish a model of Himalayan Nettle fibre as a viable enterprise. Key activities planned include:

Cluster appraisal and preparation of micro-plans for specific activities
Resource collection and processing
Establishment of three primary processing and one centralised secondary processing unit
Capacity building of artisans
Material exploration and research
Publications and outreach
Exposure visits
Brand building and marketing.

The proposed project is expected to bring 50 hectares under Himalayan Nettle, through seed collection and direct seed sowing to ensure ecological balance. The plantation activities will be undertaken by partners involved in the extraction of Himalayan Nettle. The plantation programme would lead to additional availability of raw material to artisans to the tune of 50kg nettle yarn per artisan annually, from year 2010 onwards. Extraction process will be further standardised, thus, time taken by artisans to collect raw material and other primary and secondary processes is expected to decrease by one hour per day, which in itself will help enhance income by 15 per cent by the second year of the project. It is estimated that an increase in annual income to the tune of Rs12,000 – 18,000 can be achieved by the second year through natural fibre-based livelihood promotion interventions.

The project will train more than 1,000 artisans and community members in nettle fibre-based interventions directed to add value to their present process and product range. Craft-centric training manuals, craft documents, bilingual guides for artisans and product catalogues will be developed during the project to facilitate the marketing ventures. The project interventions are also expected to shift the nettle utilisation rates from the current 40-50 per cent to 75 per cent. Also, an additional area of 50 hectares will be covered through direct seed sowing to maintain the resource base. It is pertinent to note that the United Nations has declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres.

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