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Producer company boost for Naga women weavers

Photo Courtesy : Colo Mero, VDB Secretary Chizami
Photo Courtesy : Colo Mero, VDB Secretary Chizami

Chizami: Li Cheh Kro, a weavers’ producer company owned by the women weavers of Chizami, Thetsumi, Enhulumi, Mesulumi and Sumi villages and Chizami Town in Nagaland’s Phek district was launched at the North East Network (NEN) resource centre here on Friday.

A first of its kind weavers’ producer company (PC) in the state, the enterprise aims to promote and preserve the unique loin loom textiles of Nagaland.

A ‘producer company’ is hybrid between a private limited company and a corporative society. It aims to provide business oriented services and benefits to the company’s members.

Phek deputy commissioner Razouvolie Dozo, who inaugurated the PC in the presence of NABARD general manager (regional office) Tiakala Ao, in her address, underlined the need to “look beyond the preservation and promotion of the state’s culture by focusing on skills development and capacity building.”

Ao, on the other hand, termed the launch of Li Cheh Kro Weavers Producer Company as a red-letter day for all Naga women who have been preserving and protecting the state’s cultural heritage through weaving.

Indicating that the tradition of weaving is dying with fewer women carrying it forward in the last several decades, Ao highlighted the need to take firm steps to support the age-old tradition and make it a sustainable livelihood.

She suggested providing appropriate capacity building, entrepreneurial and managerial skill trainings to the womenfolk to leverage their income.

NEN state coordinator (interim) Rhondeni Kikon shared that the North East Network as the producer organization promoting institution (POPI) of the Li Cheh Kro PC would, along with the support of NABARD focus on its formation and nurturing in the next 3 years.

“It is NEN’s aspiration that ‘Li Cheh Kro Weavers Producer Company Limited’ will pave the pathway in forming larger collectives in the coming years,” she said.

Kikon further said through this partnership with NABARD, the NEN aims to build a weavers’ collective institution to promote self-reliance among the womenfolk.

“This partnership seeks to nurture the leadership and capacity of women weavers as owners and managers of their enterprises. NEN envisages the weavers’ producer organization to act as a platform to market hand woven textile products so as to enhance the economy of local communities,” she said.

Koneiu Lohe, a weaver and member in the board of directors of the company said “to be able own a company like the Li Cheh Kro Weavers PC is a landmark achievement for her and the other weavers.”

The inauguration was followed by an exhibition of Chizami weaves at the VTC hall of the NEN campus.

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