The Odisha Government has set a target to produce 113.19 lakh square metres of textile and handloom products worth Rs 223 crore in the current fiscal with a jump of nearly 25 per cent from the previous year. Keeping in mind the flow of tourists during the upcoming Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, the production target has been enhanced from 90.55 lakh sq metres set for the 2017-18 financial year. While 16 districts are producing textile and handloom products, the State has 40,164 looms of which 34,086 are active. Since only 21,760 looms were operating during last year, the Directorate of Textiles has asked all zonal officers to activate 3,000 more looms to achieve the target for the year.
The target for Bargarh has been set at highest 20.4 lakh sq metres, followed by Cuttack 18.36 lakh sq metres and Athagarh 15.5 lakh sq metres. Other producing zones include Khurda (6.14 lakh sq metres), Sonepur (5.42 lakh sq metres), Nayagarh (4.99 lakh sq metres), Patnagarh (4.78 lakh sq metres), Balasore (3.07 lakh sq metres), Baripada (2.5 lakh sq metres), Keonjhar (2.52 lakh sq metres) and Berhampur (3.86 lakh sq metres). Of 90.55 lakh sq metres of the target set for last year, the achievement was nearly 71.54 per cent.
The Directorate was displeased over the performance of many zones as the number of working looms came down from 22,824 in 2016-17 to 21,760 in 2017-18. None of the zones had made 100 per cent achievements except Baripada while Bargarh and Balasore zones achieved more than 90 per cent of the target. An official of the Directorate said Athagarh, Khurda, Patnagarh, Dhenkanal, Sundargarh, Kalahandi and Koraput could produce less than 60 per cent of the target which is not desirable. While several welfare schemes have been formulated for socio-economic development of weavers, he said, zonal officials have been asked to give focused attention to chalk out strategies to strengthen the production system and provide regular employment to the weavers working under the co-operative fold. Boudh zone has been asked to activate 400 looms and Athagarh, Bargarh and Sonepur zones have been directed to operate 300 looms more to help achieve the overall target.