Handicrafts sector in the country provides employment to as many as 35 lakhs people and earns foreign exchange to the tune about Rs.36,000 Crores annually. The sector plays a crucial role in rural economy of the country. The Handicrafts sector reflects the cultural richness and the products display the diversity and traditions that exist in the country. The Industry faces a lot of challenges on account of poor productivity, poor wages, and drudgery in work places etc.The younger generation is not enthusiastic about continuing in the traditional sector. Realising the potential of this sector central and state Government have come up with a number of schemes for the development of sector such as cluster approach for development, Advanced tools and Craft development centres, Skill development training, Design and product development, Creation of marketing infrastructure, Craft tourism initiatives etc. In the state of Kerala it is estimated that there are about 1.7 lakh handicrafts artisans actively engaged in the sector. There are 32 different crafts in Kerala of which ivory carving, wood and horn carving, bell metal casting hand embroidery, coconut shell carving are important commercial items. The schemes implemented by the Government of Kerala intend to eliminate middlemen, improve the skill of artisans, productivity, increase market opportunities and strengthen Co-operatives.
The Major Schemes envisage under Handicrafts Sector is detailed below
I. Handicrafts Sector
- Assistance to Apex Organisations in Handicrafts sector
The scheme is provided for extending assistance to the following major public sector and apex organisation under handicrafts sector based on definite feasible project proposals
1. Handicrafts Apex Co-operative Society (SURABHI)
2. Kerala State Bamboo Development Corporation (KSBC)
3. Kerala Artisans Development Corporation (KADCO)
4. Handicrafts Development Corporation (HDCK)
5. Kerala State Palmyrah Products Development Welfare Corporation Ltd.(KELPALM)
- Establishment of Common Facilities Service Centre for Handicrafts Sector
In handicrafts sector a major problem faced by the artisans is the non availability of a common centre at where they could get the services and machineries in an affordable rate. Establishment of Common facilities Service Centre for Handicraft Products in selected crafts/areas is essential for giving training in handicrafts, quality testing, machine based job work dyeing, polishing and printing works; the scheme is intended for development and promotion of new designs, Establishment and Modernization of Common Facility Service Centres of Surabhi, KADCO, HDCK & KELPALM.
- Employment Generation in traditional sector
The scheme is for implementing the recommendations of mission on Employment Generation approved by the Government. The amount shall be used for activities/programmes in traditional sector.
State Awards for Craftsmen of Kerala
Cluster Development & Establishment of CFSC for Handicrafts Sector