Bajhang bags – growing the industry
Bajhang bags – growing the industry

Bajhang’s bags made from Himalayan nettle (allo) fibres weren’t just a one-off training. Now the industry is growing, with substantial support and investment from the local government. Local government departments in Thalara contributed over half of a recent training budget where 9 more women from impoverished and marginalised communities completed a two-month training, making 343 bags of different sizes. The local government had never previously allocated budget for this but saw the potential after UMN’s SRIJANA project promoted this local business opportunity. Of the total training investment of NPR 683,235 (approx USD 5,110), 26% was contributed by Wards 1 and 2 of the Rural Municipality (RM), 18% by the RM’s Industry unit, 13% by the RM office and 43% by UMN’s SRIJANA project. Local government staff recently affirmed their ongoing support, demonstrating local ownership and sustainability for the future:

“The bag products of the allo enterprise women’s group are very impressive. The local government’s budget planning process continues to prioritise this business. The enterprise section under the Rural Municipality takes responsibility for monitoring and maintaining progress records of this business.”
– Mr. Siddharaj Pandit, Chief Administrative Officer, Thalara Rural Municipality, Bajhang

“Thalara ward 2 office… will allocate the budget for its scale-up support, enterprise operation space, safety and security and keep closely monitoring this enterprise.”
-Rabindra Khati, Ward 2 Chairperson, Thalara

In Thalara, where there are few local options for income generation, a growing number of women have the opportunity to earn extra household income by weaving them alongside daily household and farm work. For the second phase, the project plans to market the bags in various government and private offices, schools, and institutions across Bajhang by coordinating with the local cooperative. Local production of allo fibres is also benefitting – more people are choosing to plant nettles to support the growing industry.

See also the earlier case story featuring this business: Weaving success

Women’s product Bag with local napali brand name – ‘Thalara Bajhang’
Bags at shop
Bag sewing entrepreneur – Manisha Baniya
Padma Kumari Upadhyay (Niraula)


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