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Bangla handloom industry declines by 45% in 15 years

Apr '19
Bangla handloom industry declines by 45% in 15 years
The traditional handloom industry in Bangladesh has witnessed a drastic fall, with the number of handlooms declining by about 45.39 per cent to 1.16 lakhs in the last 15 years, according to preliminary findings of a new survey by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). The primary reasons attributed are financial constraints and lack of policy support.

The figure from a preliminary report of the Handloom Census 2018 was revealed at an event recently.

In the previous census conducted in 2003, 183,512 handlooms were functioning across the country, which now came down to only 116,006, according to Bangla media reports. In 1990, when the first such census was conducted, the total number of handlooms was 212,421.

Shrinking income, mechanisation, shifting the profession, lack of capital and problems linked to marketing were some of the causes behind the decline, said BBS.

About 93 per cent of handlooms are converged in only 15 districts, especially in three Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) districts. Most handlooms, about 73.10 per cent, are located in Chattagram and Rajshahi divisions. Chattogram was in the leading position with presence of 56.20 per cent handlooms.

In the three CHT districts, the total number of handlooms stood at the highest, 65,000, whereas the number was only 87 in Barisal. More concentration of handlooms—88.43 per cent—was found in rural areas, while in urban areas, it was only 11.57 per cent, according to the survey.

The total number of handloom workers also reduced to 301,757, including 133,444 males and 168,313 females, from 888,115 workers in 2003. The number was 10,27,407 in 1990. The number of women workers increased in the profession in the last 15 years.

Women’s participation in handlooms increased to 55.78 per cent in 2018, which was 46.81 per cent in 2003 and 44.35 per cent in 1990. In contrast, male participation fell from 53.19 per cent 15 years ago to 44.22 per cent now. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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