The government has taken an initiative to set up three handloom service centers in different loom intensive areas of the country for providing pre-weaving and post-weaving related services to the weavers through some 1.40 lakh handlooms.
A project titled ‘Establishment of 3 Handloom Service Centers in Different Loom Intensive Areas’ was recently approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).
Bangladesh Handloom Board (BHB) under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute will implement the project at a cost of Tk 50.54 crore by December 2015. The project cost will be borne entirely from the government exchequer.
The project area covers Kalihati upazila of Tangail, Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj and Kumarkhali upazila of Kushtia. Once the project is completed, it would directly employ some 165 people and help create employment opportunities for another 4 lakh handloom weavers.
Talking to UNB, Planning Ministry officials said that the project aims to provide different pre-weaving and post-weaving services to the weavers like fabric colouring, mercerizing, sizing, calendaring and folding through the setting up of three service centers.
Besides, through these service centers necessary assistance will be provided to the handloom weavers for producing improved and standard fabrics apart from enhancing the skills of the handloom weavers by reducing the production rate of faulty fabrics through setting up new machineries.
According to sources at the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, the number of handlooms in Tangail and Kalihati areas is about 37,222 as per the handloom census of 2003 and the handloom weavers of this area used to weave different cotton sarees. But, the handloom weavers of this area face various problems in absence of pre-weaving and post-weaving services.
The handloom census of 2003 also showed that there are some 79,889 handlooms in and around the areas of Shahjazpur of Sirajganj and the weavers of this area usually used to weave lungees, sarees, three-pieces, american sarees and fabrics.
But, the weavers are not being able to produce quality fabrics for lack of yarn colouring, post-weaving services and other fabric processing facilities.
Besides, the weavers of some 22,348 handlooms in Kumarkhali of Kushtia are also facing difficulty to produce quality fabrics due to inadequate facilities for yarn colouring and post-weaving services as well as poor fabric processing facilities.
The service center in this area would facilitate the handloom weavers for producing high-standard lungees, bed sheets, bed covers, towels and curtain fabrics, said a Textiles and Jute Ministry official.
The pre-evaluation committee (PEC) meeting on the project was held twice and the Planning Commission recommended for implementing the project to help producing standard fabrics through enhancing the efficiency of the handloom weavers.
According to the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, handloom sector in Bangladesh consists of more than 0.183 million handloom units with 0.505 million handlooms and about 1 million handloom weavers -- 50 percent being female workers.
About one million weavers, dyers, hand spinners, embroiderers and allied artisans have been using their creative skills in more than 0.30 million active looms to produce around 687 million meters of fabrics annually.
Production of these handloom fabrics spreads over numerous production centers all over the country which are linked up by a network of primary, secondary and central markets.