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More of Tajik women to take training in production of traditional textile and handicraft products

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-11-21 12:00:00 – Tajikistan

The administration in Sughd Oblast, Tajikistan, is disbursing loans and grants to help train women for income-earning opportunities in the textile and handicrafts industry to boost its local eonomy.

As part of its effort to bring more jobs to the oblast, the administration gave two local enterprises loans totalling 200,000 TJS (US $39,300) for the establishment of handicraft teaching centres. These centres are training craftswomen in the arts of carpet weaving and gold embroidery and the production of traditional textiles such as suzanis, satin and adras.

In the first nine months of 2014, more than 3,000 girls and women completed three-month-long courses in artisanal crafts connected to the Tajik textile trade ; in conjunction with their certifications, they will be able to train others, local officials said.

According Rano Bobojonova, the oblast's deputy chair, the high-quality arts-and-crafts products will not only bring substantial cash to the budget of each family, but also solve important social problems.

On October 16, the oblast staged the Satin Festival, a competition among pupils of 10 of those classes to showcase their best work. The winners received cash prizes of 10,000 TJS (US $2,000) each. But as a condition, they had to spend the money on recruiting and training new pupils in craftworks.

The UN Development Programme is helping the oblast underwrite the initiative by funding a local micro-credit organisation, Sugdbizneskonsalting, to the tune of 407,000 TJS (US$80,000).

One of the recipients of the loans for starting training centres is Zinnat, a company in Khujand. It is now offering girls and women free classes on how to weave carpets and embroider traditional textiles by hand. Zinnat has trained 700 girls in those arts.

Zinnat director Maksud Ziyoboev said that there are more people wanting to learn the traditional folk crafts than they can manage. In 2014, more than 3,000 applications were received of which they could only accept a quarter of them. They are considering to run three courses rather than two next year, so that they can teach handicrafts to 3,500 people.

Akhmedova graduated from Khujand State University in 2011 with a degree in philology, but she chose to go into business last year by opening a small sewing workshop, recruited workers, and began producing school and military uniforms.

According to Akhmwedov, hand-made articles cost several times as much as industrially produced ones and are particularly valued abroad and thus need to get into exports.

Government officials, meanwhile are committed to helping the craftswomen in Sughd Oblast and elsewhere succeed in selling their wares and weave their trade into the national economy.

Mastura Mukhtorova, head of the Directorate for the Development of the Economy and Commerce is of the view that people should learn to make good-quality articles. As they intend to open sales booths in the shopping areas of airports, railway terminals, and at big markets , and to arrange a system of sales through internet shops – in fact – to do as much as possible to help entrepreneurs.

Umed Davlatzod, deputy minister of economic development and commerce, said that new enterprises are appearing and new jobs are being created as they trying to sort out any problems and closely responding to the demand of private business. The Country’s business climate is improving and all thanks to an ongoing dialogue between the government and the commercial sector that has created an atmosphere of trust and co-operation.

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