Enterprise Development in Natural Fibre-based Products : A Study of the Status and Potential in the Central Himalayan Region of India (1999)

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This study explores several aspects relating to a few important fiber-yielding plants (viz.,Agave sp, Cannabis sativa, Girardiana heterophylla, Grewia oppositifolia, and Daphne Papyracea) of the Central Himalayas and their fibre products. These traditional products are an integral part of the typical rural system because of their durability, flexibility, and ecofriendly nature. These fibre products not only fulfill rural needs and/or augment the economy, but are also of use in various household activities, including animals care. For example, ropes made from such fibers do not heat up under the sun and remain soft when animals move or shift postures. However, with some inputs, fibers of various species can be used for the preparation of non-traditional products in order to meet the ethnic choice/fashion of urban society.Market indicators show that there is potential for enterprise development of various non-traditional fibre products, particularly in light of the growing preference for natural products rather than for synthetics. Furthermore, these products can compete in the market because they are unique. With this in mind, certain NGOs have begun to commercialise fibre-based products, although on a very limited scale because of the lack of infrastructure and of a marketing strategy. In order to increase the supply of raw materials, efforts have also been made to carry out large-scale plantation of Agave sp and other species. These are regenerated in nurseries through bulbils in order to support plantation work.It has been observed that this document could serve as a useful basis for future research to develop appropriate strategies for achieving sustainable and feasible development of cottage industries based on fibre plants.

 

 Record created 2011-02-16, last modified 2014-03-24