From Banarasi saris to Kanpur leather, UP crafts industry gets Amazon boost

E-commerce giant Amazon on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh government to support micro, small and medium (MSME) entrepreneurs in nine districts under the state's flagship 'One District, One Product' (ODOP) scheme.     

Through its 'Kala Haat' programme, Amazon India will help the state's traditional industries, which are synonymous with these nine districts, to leverage e-commerce to scale and access domestic and global markets.    

Under the tie-up, the company will provide support to about 300 MSME sellers registered under the ODOP scheme. Amazon will provide these entrepreneurs with training, account management guidance, marketing tools, modern storage infrastructure, and delivery network to fuel their growth through online selling.  

The MoU was exchanged in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind, who inaugurated the three-day ODOP Summit in Lucknow. 

Over its platform, will showcase traditional products from UP such as Banarasi silk saris from Varanasi, carpets from Bhadohi, Chikan apparels from Lucknow, leather goods from Kanpur, leather footwear from Agra, mechanical locks from Aligarh, brassware from Moradabad, sports goods from Meerut and wooden products from Saharanpur.     

The company will help connect MSMEs to millions of buyers in the country and handhold them to benefit from India's booming digital economy going forward.

Under the Kala Haat programme, has been introducing a large number of weavers, artisans and craftspeople across clusters in India to digital commerce, and handholding them with technology enablement and guidance through their online journey, the company said.

With ODOP, the Yogi Adityanath government aims to revive beleaguered traditional industries and crafts of UP to create millions of job opportunities and arrest the migration of youth to other states for employment. The state has also made a budgetary provision of Rs 2.5 billion for ODOP and promised more funds to make the scheme a success and replicable by other states in due course.

With the option of selling products through, UP's rural artisans will be able to cater to a wide spectrum of customers, get the best value for their products, and grow their business, a company press communique said.

Meanwhile, UP MSME and Export Promotion Secretary Bhuvnesh Kumar said that the MSME sector accounted for almost 60 per cent of the total industrial output of UP with an estimated number of over 4.4 million units. 

"Enabling weavers and artisans to leverage marketplace validates our vision to transform how India buys and sells. With the aim to boost the economic development of the weavers and artisans, we are confident that our collaboration will give a thrust to the promotion of authentic and unique arts and crafts of UP in India and abroad," Amazon India Director and GM (seller services) Gopal Pillai said.

Meanwhile, the state is mulling sewing similar tie-ups with other e-commerce majors as well to broaden ODOP's bandwidth.   

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