QR code for Kashmiri carpets a significant step towards reinforcing brand identity
This will also help in boosting the export of Kashmiri carpets
The world renowned handmade Kashmiri silk carpet will now have a QR- code based mechanism for certification and labeling to ensure that customers are getting authentic Kashmiri carpets.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha launched the QR-code for handmade Kashmir carpets on Thursday and it is said to be first of its kind in the country.
"Many a times customers are cheated outside in the name of Kashmiri carpet which has brought a bad name to our industry," said Mohammad Maqbool, a carpet weaver.
Maqbool said that authentic carpet is made with sweat and blood of weavers and when fakes are sold at the same price, it brings them much disappointment.
However, Maqbool and other carpet weavers of the valley are happy about the move for QR code certification.
According to a government spokesperson, the QR code based system can help in checking the cheating and misbranding that has badly affected the carpet Industry in Kashmir.
Through this system carpet parameters viz GI user, manufacturer, artisan, knots per square inch, the material used would be kept in check.
According to Sinha, with the advent of this technology, the government would be able to retain the centrality and authenticity of handmade carpets.
Adding further, he said that this initiative will also help in boosting the export of J&K’s carpets in international markets.
While quoting the export statistics, the spokesperson said that the carpets from J&K go to at least 25 countries.
"In 2020-21 alone, carpets worth Rs 115 crore were exported to Germany while the figures were Rs 34 crore for US, 36 crore for UAE and Rs 22 crore for the Netherlands," the spokesperson said.
Welcoming the step, President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Sheikh Ashiq believes that this step will help the carpet industry of Kashmir a great deal.
"I think this has been need of the hour because a lot of misrepresentation and misbranding of Kashmiri silk carpets has been done. Fake products from other regions and other material is being sold both nationally as well as internationally in the name of Kashmiri carpets -- which has badly dented out carpet industry," he said.
He said that with this QR code system, a customer would now get all the details of the products like the weaver, place of weaving, origin, material used etc. So this is the real branding of any area which I feel is the asset to the whole community. "You don't need to tell the stories now, the carpet will speak for itself," he remarked.
Nonetheless, he said that real challenge is to create awareness about this system, then only a weaver would know about carpet with GI patent and car without GI patent.
"The more people would know about it, the more will be the demand. If this is properly done it will really help in boosting the dwindling economy, of the UT," he added.