Bandipora district in North Kashmir is taking advantage of the ongoing third G20 Tourism Working Group meetings to promote three of its renowned products to delegates from 20 countries attending the meetings.
These products include
black cumin (kala zera) from Gurez Valley, organic Rajma (kidney beans) from Tulail Valley, and exquisite paper mache art pieces from the Sumbal subdivision. These offerings highlight the district’s diverse and rich products.
Gurez black cumin is well-known for its aromatic properties, herbal benefits, and medicinal value. The organic Rajma from the region is celebrated nationwide for its unique flavor and aroma. The artists of Sumbal are known for their captivating paper mache art pieces, which showcase remarkable aesthetics and visual allure.
The G20 meeting in Srinagar has provided significant benefits to the Self-Help Groups registered at the JK Rural Livelihood Mission, as expressed by Shreen Shafi, the district programme manager of Bandipora. This global event has given them an invaluable platform to exhibit their products during the exhibition. The black cumin and Rajma have been branded as “Gurez Naturals” by SRLM, enabling them to reach a wider audience through popular online shopping platforms like Amazon.
Despite the challenging terrain and isolated location of the Gurez and Tulail sub-divisions within the Bandipora district, JKRLM-Umeed has fostered entrepreneurship by establishing women-led self-help groups. These groups have successfully collected wild black cumin, which is in high demand and possesses remarkable medicinal properties.
With support from JKRLM, the women-led group launched the “Gurez Naturals” brand, allowing them to sell their products online and overcome commercial isolation. Focusing on collecting wild black cumin has given the group a competitive advantage in the market and facilitated the establishment of its brand.
Officials have hailed the success of the “Gurez Naturals” brand as evidence of the transformative power of entrepreneurship in driving positive change for individuals and communities. By empowering women and providing necessary resources and support, organizations like JKRLM-Umeed are creating sustainable and inclusive pathways for development.
The women members expressed their gratitude for the overwhelming response they have received and are determined to showcase their organic brand to participants at the summit. Their goal is to establish a presence in the international market, leveraging this valuable opportunity to expand their reach globally.
Through the support of JKRLM-Umeed and the establishment of women-led self-help groups, the district’s entrepreneurs have successfully launched the “Gurez Naturals” brand and are striving to make a mark in the international market.
This initiative not only showcases the rich and diverse offerings of the region but also demonstrates the transformative power of entrepreneurship in driving sustainable and inclusive development.