December 27, 2019

Smock weavers in Bolgatanga want access to interest-free loans

Smock weavers in Bolgatanga have appealed to government to promote and project the local smock industry to attract global market.

The weavers said smock weaving, apart from being a trade that young people could venture into, has a great potential to create employment for the youth.

They urged government to devise modalities particularly, access to market that would expose the indigenous smocks to the global world to create both local and international markets for the industry.

Smock weaving as an economic vocation and non-traditional export in the Upper East Region is one of the major sources of livelihood for many communities. However, the weavers are confronted with surmountable challenges and need a little push.

The region produces quality smocks, which are being patronized locally and internationally and but the weavers experience difficulty getting easy access to inputs such as the thread to enhance quality weaving.

Patronage for the smocks has also reduced owing to the lack of proper exposure and marketing mechanisms for the products, leading to a reduction in production rate.

In an interview with GBC’s Radio Ghana, the Chairman of the Bolgatanga Smock Weavers Association, Mumuni Bukari, called on the government to support them with interest-free loans.

Mr. Ishmael Mohammed who is also a smock weaver called on the government to establish a smock factory in the region.

A member of the Bolgatanga Smock Weavers Association, Bless Bukari, attributed the low patronage of their products to the lack of platforms for them to showcase their local smocks to the outside world.

The sheds of the smock weavers are in a bad state. Whenever it rains they are compelled to stop working until the rain subsides.

The situation, the smock weavers described as unacceptable. They appealed to government to device ways that would create opportunities for smock weavers in the region to attend international exhibitions to showcase the local smocks.

This, they noted, would attract high patronage and increase production, create more employment for people in the rural communities and thereby reduce poverty among the people in the region.

They also appealed to government to support the industry with industrial sewing machines, called ‘Singer 20 U,’ to enable master smock tradesmen train more youth and expand the industry.

The Upper East region is the hub of handicrafts and the smock industry is one of the very vibrant industries, producing quality products and providing lots of employment to the people in the region.

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