22 May, 2020
“I look forward to self-dependency by selling pine needle products”
Pathrevi is a scenic village, situated to the North-East of Karsog, lying in district Mandi of Himachal Pradesh. There are patches of Chir Pine trees across the village. Pine needles are a source of fuel for forest fires during the summer months. The Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Services (HP-FES) project encouraged the village communities to use pine needles as a resource for making artefacts and earn cash-income. More importantly, the direct dependence of the community on forest resources ensures their active participation in forest protection and conservation. Thus, pine-needle weaving was identified as an entry-point for using the FES approach in microplanning. The capacity development programme on pine needle weaving was proposed and negotiated to be included in the micro plan by the women of Pathrevi who saw this a livelihood opportunity. It also received good support from the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department.
“We could make products such as trays, baskets and katoris (small bowls) and were happy to present it to our dignatories such as the Forest Minister, the Additional Chief Secretary, Forest and our Member of Legislative Assembly. Each product was sold at INR 200 and we received a lot of appreciation.”
The 17-day training course on making pine needle products was divided into two parts. In the first 10 days, the course comprised of preparing pine needles, dying and the basic techniques of weaving for making artefacts. In the next 7 days, the advanced course was on construction techniques for making free-form pine needle products. 24 women participants successfully completed this course.
Hansa, a resident of Pathrevi, eagerly stated, “I had been considering setting up a household business to become independent for many years and tried agriculture and knitting. But with limited knowledge, funds and experience I could not succeed. I was delighted to sign up for the intensive training of making pine needle products organised by the project. I look forward to continuing by exploring new designs of making pine needle products and becoming a proud, self-dependent lady.”
GIZ, in cooperation with the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department (HPFD), is implementing the Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystem Services (HP-FES) Project. The project aims at integrating the Forest Ecosystem Services approach into the state’s forest management. Capacity development initiatives are taken by the project, to improve forest-based livelihood options for the communities residing in the project areas of the state. Pathrevi is one of the 9 selected project sites.
The next step of the project will be to identify the market outside village for these products and also to identify the niche products that have a greater demand. The ACS, Forest and Tourism has been supporting this initiative and negotiate with the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation hotels for this women group to increase the sales of these products.
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