Demand for Himalayan nettle grass increases in Europe

  • | Thursday | 17th September, 2020

The Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fibre Development Board has cited great demand for Himalayan nettle grass in Europe and said it is trying to promote its trade in the state.

Himalayan nettle grass can prove vital in generating employment in the state of Uttarakhand as the demand for the nettle grass in increasing in Europe.

The Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fibre Development Board has cited great demand for Himalayan nettle grass in Europe and said it is trying to promote its trade in the state.

“A Switzerland based company which works on producing different nettle-based goods has approached us with queries for procuring raw material. They have asked us to supply around 6 tonnes of nettle grass per year. We have sent them samples which are being tested. The company is ready to take uncarded samples also. This [offers] great scope for youth and women in getting employment in this sector,” said Manoj Chandran, the Board’s chief executive officer.

Chandran said the Board is in talks with other firms also. “As we have a fixed market, regular purchases can be made in the nettle season. After collection of the raw material, we process it to make yarns and villagers weave different products for sale. But now only a small quantity is being produced. We are planning to export nettle grass which will encourage more people to get involved in this field. They can practise farming of the grass or earn through collection and processing of the raw grass.”

A Board’s study has found there are 96 different types of nettle grass available in Uttarakhand. The Himalayan nettle grass among them has the maximum fibre content--85%--making it suitable for textile and related industries.

STS Lepcha, a former principal chief conservator of forest, said that Himalayan nettle grass is found in high-altitude areas, mostly above 2000 m. “In 2007-08, the minimum support price for Himalayan nettle grass was Rs 40 per kg which has now increased to almost around Rs 70. ...we are also encouraging locals to cultivate it.”



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