Viet Nam News
ĐỒNG THÁP — The southern province of Đồng Tháp has spared no efforts to preserve local handicrafts and exploit them for tourism.
There are 43 handicraft villages in the province. Both the boat-making trade in Lai Vung District and the rush mat weaving trade in Lấp Vò District have been recognised as the national intangible heritages.
Hồ Thanh Dũng, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said local handicraft villages have created stable jobs for 19,000 people with an average income of VNĐ1 million (US$44.4) per person per month.
The rush mat weaving trade in Định Yên Commune, Lấp Vò District dates back 100 years and involves 3,000 households. Each year, millions of mats are made here and sold throughout the Cửu Long (Mekong Delta) and Cambodia.
“The province has drafted a plan to restore ancient Định Yên Mat Market in a total area of 1.5ha, where locals can sell products and tourists can visit,” Nguyễn Đình Tô, an official from Đồng Tháp Museum.
The trade of making wooden boats in Long Hậu Commune, Lai Vung District, has become a main income source for locals. As many as 150 among total 200 local households live on the trade. An experienced worker can make two small boats a day and earn VNĐ200,000 ($8.8) per day for his/her labour.
The provincial People’s Committee has recently published a plan to preserve and develop the two traditional handicrafts in the 2017-20 period.
Following the plan, in 2017 and 2018, the province will survey the existing condition of the handicrafts and the market for the products.
The province will also organise a contest among local workers to make the best models of traditional products and newly designed products for tourism. The models will be produced in mass number and sold in and outside the province.
In 2019-20 period, the province will continue to invest in upgrading infrastructure at handicraft villages to develop tourism.
It plans to spend VNĐ60 billion ($2.6 million) to support the development of the villages by 2020. — VNS