The North Gonja District Assembly has taken steps to find more markets for smocks woven in the area by tasking the country’s High Commissioners and Ambassadors to promote smocks in their countries of assignment.
To this end, the Assembly has supplied a few smocks to some of the High Commissioners and Ambassadors to occasionally wear at events to attract markets for the product abroad.
Mr. Adam Eliasu Red-bawa, District Chief Executive for North Gonja, announced this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Daboya on Wednesday to specify efforts being made to promote the district’s smock industry.
Smock (batakari) weaving is a major economic activity at Daboya, capital of the North Gonja district in the Northern Region.
The town is noted for beautiful, quality smocks; but rising cost of production, materials and a dwindling market for smocks have become a concern for industry players in the area.
In 2016 the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, declared that smocks be worn on the first Friday of every month to boost their patronage and step-up their international appeal and reach – thereby boosting employment and incomes of the large number of people employed in the industry.
Mr Red-bawa said: “I have also proposed that the High Commissioners and Ambassadors organise exhibitions of smocks as part of their activities, so the assembly can select some of the major smock dealers to attend and showcase the products to the outside world”.
He expressed hope that the High Commissioners and Ambassadors will soon kick-start the process and enable the Assembly to showcase the smocks to the outside world.
Mr. Red-bawa said the Assembly has also partnered a private investor to establish a factory in the area as part of the One-District, One-Factory programme to produce yarn for smock-weavers in the area, as part of efforts to reduce the production-cost of smocks.
He said farmers in the district will be engaged in cultivating cotton to feed the factory to ensure success, and he is hopeful that efforts being made will soon materialise into the factory being established to benefit people in the area.