With the G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting being held in Srinagar, North Kashmir’s Bandipora district is leveraging the opportunity to promote its famous products to foreign delegates attending the summit.
These products include black cumin (kala jeera) 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 aroma, herbal properties and medicinal value. The organic rajma from the region is relished for its unique taste and aroma. The artists of Sumbal are known for their exotic paper mache art pieces, which exhibit remarkable aesthetics and visual appeal.
The G20 summit in Srinagar has provided significant benefits to the Self-Help Groups (SHG) registered at the JK Rural Livelihood Mission, said Bandipora District Programme Manager Shreen Shafi.
This global event has given SHGs an invaluable platform to exhibit their products during the exhibition. The black cumin and rajma have been branded as “Gurez Naturals” by State Rural Livelihood Mission, enabling them to reach a wider audience through online shopping platforms, Shafi said.
Despite the challenging terrain and isolated location of Gurez and Tulail subdivisions 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 of the SHG expressed their gratitude for the overwhelming response they have received. They were 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. (ANI)