Rajasthan News

Bikaner wool trade taking last breath

by RajasthanDirect
Oct 29, 2013

Not just for its sweets and bhujiya but Bikaner has earned its name for high quality of wool and woolen trade across the globe. The business which started in the district some 150 years back has given it a unique identity. But shortage of labour and unabated slaughtering of sheep’s for meat has posed a major threat on this once flourishing industry in the region.

Wool trade prospered in Bikaner in late the fifties when traders after domestic consumption started exporting their produce to western countries. Wool was properly cleaned, sorted and graded in Bikaner and bale (unit for measuring wool) was later send to companies in UK and Russia.

“Bikaner and surrounding area produced very good quality of chokla and magra wool beside regular quality of wool ranging from 30 to 38 micron which is very much suitable for production,” Kamal Kathuria, expert in woolen trade.

The woolen yarns have also come up in huge numbers spinning high quality carpets. With some industrialists moving to state of art machinery the district is poised to become a hub for woolen carpet manufacturing.

“There is demand for Bikaner carpets across the globe. Some business have ventured in to modern factories. In the coming few years, these companies will start producing all kinds of wool, woolen yarn and carpets,” said Trilok Chand, industrialist.

However, despite early success, in recent years the trade has reduced drastically. Only handful of businessmen are now involved in this business. “New generation is not at all interested in taking up this job. Also there is labour shortage as many unemployed are going for jobs in NREGA” added Chand.

High investment and low return is also forcing many entrepreneurs to look for other options. Moreover, traders regularly complain of no regulation on slaughtering of animals for meat and export of live stocks. Apathy from the state government is also adding to their woes. “No support from government has been received on development of wool grading centers and sheep farms leading in no improvement in the quality of fibre,” said other wollen garments manufacturer.

Uncertain weather in Bikaner and surrounding areas added to decreasing quality of wool. Erratic rain during winters and scorching heat in summers affect the whiteness of wool making it less attractive in the market.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Wool-trade-dying-a-slow-death-in-Bikaner/articleshow/24853074.cms

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