Challenges of Culture Industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Challenges of Culture Industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan

Challenges of Culture Industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Creative Sector (industries) has been identified as one of the major contributor towards economic development of a country. Unfortunately this sector, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is not tapped to its potential to witness the merits of a robust creative sector.

Khyber Pukhtunkhwa has a very rich heritage of cultural industries ranging from crafts, architecture, and cuisine to potential of cultural museums and art galleries. Charsada Chappals, DI Khan Sohan Halwa, Salam Pur Shawls, Swat woodworks, Charsadda Khamta/khaddar, Peshawar pottery are all unique cultural industries products of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that have the potential to compete with conventional industrial products.

However Cultural industries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are facing challenges and is slowly losing its ground. There are many factors causing this including but not limited to branding, lack of market accessibility, lack of strategic links, quality material, lack of education etc.

Challenges of Culture Industry

  • Most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cultural industries are not documented. Hence it is difficult to identify exact worth, volume, and contribution of this sector towards main stream economy.
  • Prices of raw materials increased, hence prices of finished goods also went up. For example increased prices of copper made it difficult for copper work to be sold in the market.
  • Cultural industries sector is facing tough competition from plastic and steel products, which are domestically manufactured or imported. These alternatives are durable, cheap and easily available, however it lacks the cultural & traditional background and have negative impact on environment.
  • Because of low business volume and low income margins, culture industries have very weak outlook. Hence those involved in this sector, avoid transferring it to their family.
  • Product from cultural industries have very low accessibility to market. Many of the products are, once completed, displayed in the same village/city where these were manufactured. Lack of resources, required for transport, and low prices in the market make it unattractive to access further markets.
  • The exploitation of Artisan in this sector is high. Artisan works with wholesalers and retailers on daily wages or a very low salary. Even if an artisan work for themselves still, all the resources are normally provided by middleman while artisan work on contract or volume basis.
  • Because of the sector’s un-documentation and very small individual setups, this sector is not registered with any of the organization e.g. Tax Department or Chamber of Commerce. Hence these setups normally does not get advantage of government initiatives or incentives.
  • There are no dedicated training centers for providing training in the sector of cultural industries. Mostly, people learn it through informal relationship with “Ustads” in the shops or homes.
  • There are no established brands in cultural industries. Because of this many of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cultural industries are copied in other provinces and further exported. For example Charsada Chappal are now also produced in other parts of the country, from where it is exported.
  • Cultural industries sector has not been transformed with current flow of Information Technology. Information Technology can offer variety of means to create awareness as well as generate revenue from cultural industries. Unfortunately lack of education and unawareness from the potential of IT, make it difficult for associates of cultural industries to utilize its platforms.

The revival of these cultural industries, objectives like Identity, Social Capitalization and Economic Development can be achieved. Innovation in this field is required to bring our cultural industries in line with contemporary consumer market without compromising the authenticity of materials, work and final product. In the following edition, options and steps will be presented and evaluated required for the revival of this important sector.

By: Abdul Latif

“The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of and its staff members”

The Author is a professional writer. He is a registered member of Writers Club Pakistan and his detailed profile is available in Writers Directory.

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