Social networking giant Facebook has come forward to help handicraft artisans of Jodhpur, which has a global imprint on handicraft manufacturing and exports.

A business promotion team from Facebook will be in the city next week to hold seminars and one-to-one meetings with the artisans and train them to harness the social media platform for growing their business.

In pursuance of an MoU between the Rajasthan government and Facebook, this team will help the artisans promote their products through a Facebook page and train them in the entire process, right from making a page to operating it effectively so as to maximise their reach.

"Normally these artisans are engaged in completing the orders placed by the handicraft exporters and could never think of getting access to the global direct business, given various limitations like financial limitations and lack of knowledge," General Manager of the District Industries Centre YN Mathur said.

"This initiative will address this limitation and will help them harness the capability of this digital social platform and provide them an opportunity to get into direct business instead of being dependent on the orders from the handicraft exporters," District Magistrate Vishnu Charan Mallik said.

Jodhpur’s handicrafts industry has an annual turnover of Rs.1,700 crore, with over 400 small and big units engaged in manufacturing and exporting various items made of wood, iron, leather, textile, stone and metals.

Most of the export orders are fulfilled by thousands of small artisans, who receive the orders from the exporters.