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Authors: Adabugah, J.
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: In the Northern Region of Ghana, rural people like elsewhere continue to strive to depend on the rural economy for survival. Handicrafts supplement agricultural activities. Unfortunately, products from these handicrafts are mainly sold at the local markets. These local markets fail to offer producers maximum returns. This is understandably so given the fragility of rural economies and the conspicuous absence of linkages between production of rural handicrafts and both national and international markets. The net effect is that, the handicrafts industry continues to operate at very low levels even though they have the potential for expansion and to contribute to wealth creation. To expand the handicrafts industry through the creation of local, national and international markets for their products is a sure strategy for poverty alleviation. This research seeks to contribute to the resolution of this critical problem by examining how the handicrafts industry in the Northern Region can maximize profit. The research goal and objectives, used in this study combined both qualitative and quantitative methods in data collection and analysis. These included questionnaires interviews, Focus Group Discussions and observations. The main findings included the following:- majority of handicraft persons were elderly with few women engaged in the industry; majority of the youth preferred drifting to the urban and city centres looking for jobs; and that gender placement and bias in our society has limited the role of. women in the industry particularly in areas of carving, blacksmithing, basket weaving and making of local mats. Resources allocated to the cultural sector and other state agencies to help promote the handicraft industry either do little or run programmes that do not immediately benefit the craft persons. The lack of knowledge and information on Government policies and programmes; the lack of easy access to fair pricing and marketing, and difficulties in accessing micro-finance facilities from the banks and other lending institutions have worsened the plight of craftpersons. It is noted also that capacity building and skills training programmes offered to craft persons are either woefully inadequate or end up confusing the craft persons as to blending the new technologies with their traditional pattern of cultural practices and beliefs as well as production techniques. To ameliorate the situation, some useful recommendations have been suggested including the establishment of craft villages throughout the country. The study also calls on planners and policy makers to pursue a development agenda that is structurally rooted in the culture of society. This demands a review of government policy on the handicrafts industry that will gear towards making them more viable and sustainable and as a contribution to the economic growth of the nation.
Description: Master of philosophy in Development Studies.
Appears in Collections:Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Consultancy Services (IIRaCS)

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