“Knife manufacturing is an old industry in East India, and there are over 50 such units in the area, employing nearly 1000 people. Agricultural implements, pruning knives, as well as knives for domestic use are made in this industry,” states R Bhattacharya, a manufacturer.
“The major problems being faced by the knife manufacturers are high cost of raw material, lack of upgradation of machinery, and lack of technology, which is leading to the manufacturing of low-quality products,” says Bhaskar Dutta, another manufacturer.
“Many knife manufacturers are getting back to the cultivation of bamboo, another traditional occupation in East India,” Dutta says.
Knife manufacturers in Karanga are, however, seeing a ray of hope, in the form of certain measures being undertaken by the state government to bring the dying industry back to life.
“The industry is losing its charm due to lack of facilities to the manufacturers. However, the state government is trying to revive it,” Bhattacharya says.
“The state government has formed an association called Karanga Komar Anaya Samiti to understand and help resolve the problems of the sector,” said M U Ahmed, Additional Director, Udyog Bhawan, Assam.
“The government has provided funds to the association for the promotion of the industry. Also, the manufacturers are being trained at the polytechnic colleges of the area, to help them improve their productivity,” quips Dutta.
“A proposal was also made by MSME-Development Institute, Guwahati, to start various activities in the industry, to improve its efficiency and help promote it,” says Ahmed.
He mentions that the Udyog Bhavan is presently making efforts to promote the knife manufacturing industry in other parts of the world, too.