The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GNCCI) has advocated the establishment of "Smock Village" in the Upper West Region to help coordinate and promote the smock business.
It said the smock business in the region, particularly Wa, was booming and impacting the lives of the industry players, but that lack of effective coordination of the activities of smock value chain actors was affecting the sector.
Mr Emmanue Wullingdool, the Executive Director, Wullingdool Mustardseed Consultancy (WMC), who was the Consultant for the Upper West Regional branch of GNCCI, said this when the leadership of the regional Chambers called on Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister in Wa on Tuesday.
"Smock production has become an important source of income. Together with the RCC, we are thinking if we can create a smock village.
A land could be developed for all smock weavers to share ideas, train and equip the youth to produce the smock. Opportunities could then be sought for them to sell the produce", Mr Wullingdool explained.
He also stressed the need for the various smock brand to be identified with names, just as it's done with other traditional cloths in other parts of the country, such as "Obaatampa", "Nyamebekyre" among others.
He said that could be instrumental in branding and marketing the smocks saying, "We have identified the naming of the cloths as one thing that can ensure the marketing of the cloths".
Mr Wullingdool, therefore, noted that they were consulting various stakeholders in the region to determine appropriate ways of naming the smock brands.
He also touched on the need for government to support commercial farmers in the region with mechanisation services as well as improved seeds and imputs.
Dr. Salih, commended the Chambers for the steps taken to promote businesses in the region, which was the key interest area of the President as part of his jobs creation agenda.
He said the Regional Coordinating Council was ready to partner GNCCI in its activities towards improving businesses in the region.
The Minister, however, urged the GNCCI team to engage traditional authorities towards the naming of the cloths to give it traditional meaning.
On agriculture, Dr. Salih said plans were advanced for the government to establish mechanisation centre in the region to improve the sector.
Mr Jeremiah B. Tengan, Regional Manager, GNCCI, appealed to the minister to involve the Chambers in business-related meetings in the region geared towards developing the sector.
Alhaji Salford Iddrisu, Regional Chairman, GNCCI, commended the minister for his re-appointment, which was a testament of his sterling performance in his first term.
He also commended Dr Salih for facilitating the opening and operationalisation of the passport office, regional hospital, Wa new market, and the Business Advisory Centres in the region saying, "These are critical in creating the right environment for business operation".
The GNCCI also requested for an office space to help facilitate the running of its activities as it currently operated from a rented edifice.