Products and Marketing

When Indians think of products that are turned out by village industries, Khadi readily comes to mind. khadi is an Indian textile, which has the added significance of being associated with the Indian freedom struggle. It is used to create a wide variety of garments for men, women and children. Besides Khadi, other varieties of textiles are also produced by village industries. The textiles produced are suitable for ethnic and western wear alike. A large variety of handicrafts are also produced. These items can be used as decorative showpieces, furniture or used for household chores. Footwear is another important item that is produced. ‘Jutti’ or ethnic footwear, which is in great demand, is an example. Leather is also produced by village industries. The leather is sometimes sold as raw material to other industries. Occasionally, however, the village industries themselves use the leather to produce finished products such as shoes. Processed food such as pickle, fruit juice, spices and condiments are also produced.

The marketing of these products is normally done through government run retail stores. Sales and exhibitions are also organised from time to time, particularly during the festive seasons. Most states also participate in regional and national trade fairs to exhibit their wares. State governments actively promote the village industries by providing information about the locations of the retail outlets in websites, newspapers and magazines. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956 endeavours to (sic) “promote the sale and marketing of khadi or products of village industries or handicrafts and for this purpose forge links with established marketing agencies wherever necessary and feasible”.

However, marketing remains a problem area for the village industries. Our website aims to address this problem. We hope that other groups will also undertake such initiatives to help improve the overall health of the village industry.