November 24, 2020, 6:25 pm
Md Shahadat Hossain: Manufacturers and traders of cane furniture in Chittagong are not good.It is as if the last nail has not been hammered into the coffin of this sector which has survived the multi-faceted crisis for a long time.The cane furniture business has collapsed due to the terrible corona.The traders are struggling to rent the shop.Salary allowances of employees and artisans are stuck. In this situation,the future of this domestic cane industry is under threat.
There are wicker furniture factories and shops at Zakir Hossain Road in Chittagong, Nasirabad on Asian Highway, Station Road, Agrabad, Halishahar.A total of eight shops and factories in Chittagong manufacture and sell different types of furniture with cane and bamboo.From beds,sofas, wardrobes, dining tables, ordinary tables, chairs, rugs, swings, racks, coatstands to furniture made of wood, everything can be made of cane and bamboo.
These furniture are made by collecting cane and bamboo locally from Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet region.All the factories in Chittagong collect cane from two large warehouses in Chaktai area.Cane furniture is highly valued as it is cheap in price, eye-catching and light in weight. There is a big market for this furniture, especially in urban life.In addition to the traditional design furniture, various designs of foreign furniture are made with cane and bamboo.Bamboo-cane and sometimes wood are used to make all the beautiful furniture in the factories and shops of Chittagong.
Although furniture made of domestic and imported wood as well as steel occupies a large share of the country’s market, the value of bamboo cane furniture has not diminished much. From the elite to the middle class people have been using different pieces of bamboo cane furniture.Many ordinary people have also bought bamboo and cane furniture to decorate their houses as it is cheaper.A search of shops in Chittagong revealed that chairs and tables set between bamboo and cane furniture cost between Tk 14,000 and Tk 35,000. Sofa sets cost 13 thousand to 60 thousand rupees.
Children’s cradles cost from Tk.1,500 to Tk. 3,500, and from Tk. 600 to Tk. 2,500. Bed (double) from 11 thousand to 20 thousand taka, semi double or single bed from 8 thousand to 15 thousand rupees, Devon from 8 thousand to 20 thousand tk.To buy a basket you have to pay 1300 to 2500 tk.Wardrobes are available at tk 8,000 to tk 15,000, racks at tk 2,000 to tk 3,000 and coat stands at tk 1,200 to tk 1,500.The price of furniture depends on the quality of the cane.
When furniture is made with good quality cane and painted properly, not only aesthetics but also durability comes.Wicker furniture can be used for at least ten years. There is also a cane that will not be wasted in 20/30 years.It goes without saying that there is no problem in repairing bamboo and cane furniture.When the furniture is opened, it is repaired and painted again and it becomes like new.These can be repaired at any bamboo-cane shop for a small amount of money.
Yesterday, it was seen that the artisans are working slowly.There is no rush anywhere.No busyness.Talking to Daily Azadi, Zakir Hossain Road businessman Mohammad Khokon said, there is no business.So the work is less.Earlier, furniture worth tk 1.5 lakh was sold every month.After Corona, furniture worth eight to ten thousand taka a month is not being sold.
There are two cane furniture shops in the Nasirabad area of the Asian Highway. They said that even though different types of furniture were made, the sales declined.A trader said that the market for bamboo-cane furniture was in crisis amidst the revolution of wooden furniture as well as old ship furniture, imported wood and board furniture. Don’t end that market.
Noting that people are not buying furniture, the businessman said,”Kane furniture used to be sold for small weddings, but it is not happening now.” “We are not doing well,” said several traders, pointing out their plight.This sector is having a very bad time.It is also uncertain when the good days will come again.
A Moslem involved in the profession said that once there was appreciation for cane furniture, then there was also appreciation for artisans.Now many cane artisans have become unemployed due to declining work.