Training on making pine needle artefacts at Pathrevi

29 May, 2019

The HP-FES project aims at integrating the Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) 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.

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. The Pine needles also act a source of fuel for forest fires during summer months.

The 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 on forest resources ensures an active participation in forest protection and conservation by the communities. 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 perceived this as an opportunity of earning cash-income. The programme received good support from the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department officials as well.

“We could make products such as trays, baskets and katoris (small bowls) and were happy to sell them across to our dignatries like the Forest Minister, the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), forest and our Member of Legislative Assembly. Each product was sold at a price of Rs. 200 and we received a lot of appreciation from them.”

A training course of a total of 17 days on making pine needle products was divided into two parts. In the first 10 days, the basic course comprised of preparing pine needles, dyeing and basic techniques of weaving for making artifacts. In the next 7 days, the advance course gave them an understanding of the construction technique required for making free-form pine needle products. There were 24 women participants who successfully completed this course.

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. As a starting initiative, GIZ plans to use pine needle as packaging material for distributing Diwali gifts to its personnel. The ACS – Forest and Tourism has been supporting this initiative and has assured to facilitate negotiations of between the women’s group and the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) hotels in the state to increase the sales of these products.

Photo Credits: GIZ/ Alejandro

Photo Credits: GIZ/ Harish Kumar

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