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Recession hits handloom weavers badly
01
Oct '09
Global recession affected the handloom weavers' co-operative societies in Chennimalai drastically, as the demand for handloom cloth has slipped down to about 80,000 meters per month this year compared to 100,000 metres per month in the year 2008-09, due to economic slowdown.

This demand plunge is initially due to the impact of recession on the exporters in Karur, who place orders for bed spreads, dining table mats, kitchen sets, etc. Demand fall for all these products was there since last couple of years, but it is sharper this year.

The weavers wove around 1.1 million meters of fabric this year compared to last year's 1.2.million meters, meant for export totaling to Rs. 98.2 million. Another society called Chennimalai Metro Weavers Cooperative Production and Sales Society is experiencing the same woes.

The orders for which the society weaves cloths have fallen down to Rs. 30 million from nearly Rs. 40 million in the previous year, on account of recession. The weavers' societies, such as above, in the handloom cluster of Chennimalai are largely dependent on export orders from Karur for their survival.

The weavers' societies receive yarn and other material from the companies in Karur, dealing specifically in home furnishings, and by weaving these home furnishing products the societies generate up to 18 percent profit, excluding weavers' wages.

The state government termed this scheme as, 'Deemed Export' in which weavers are assured of year long employment and under which they weave fabrics for exports that allows them to generate extra income.

Approximately 24,357 handlooms in about 294 societies are engaged in weaving fabric meant for export, revealed the Government's policy note for 2009-10. The weavers' societies earned Rs. 2918.1 million in the year 2008-09, while target of the current year is to generate Rs. 3250 million.

But, considering the sharp fall in export orders in the current year, it will be very difficult to achieve the targets this year and may slip down with a great difference compared to the earnings of last year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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