Challenges and Sustainability of Smock Weaving within the West Gonja District of the Northern Region
Smock weaving is an indigenous textiles production industry which has been one of the prominent rural enterprises with economic sustainability prospects for the study area. This prominent rural industry is gradually facing challenges that seem to be deepening the unemployment rate in the District, resulting in drift of some youths into the urban sectors in search for jobs that do not exist. To obtain a fair assessment of the impact, the study undertook a close examination of the situation using qualitative method that employs a case study techniques to collect and analyze data using instruments such as questionnaire and observation guide. Both open and close ended questions were designed for the study to examine various factors that impede the manufacturing of the smock and suggests best ways by which the youth may be encouraged to engage in the weaving industry to promote sustainable rural development. One hundred and ninety two (192) persons were selected for the study, constituting the sample population of the people engaged in the smock weaving industry in the district, out of which 171 responded to questionnaire used for the study. The study employs simple frequency distribution in analyzing data collected from the field. The study found that, most of the smock weavers in the industry have quite an in-depth experience in the industry. The findings, among other things, revealed that smock producers in the West Gonja District within the six (6) centers selected have the potential to produce and market their products to both local and international markets if the needed funds, training and other supports can be sourced from Government and other donor bodies. By way of recommendation, the researchers call on government and other donor bodies to support the smock producers to form cooperative bodies to enable them have a common voice in channeling their grievances.
Keywords: Sustainability; challenges; Indigenous textiles; smock weaving,
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