Craft villages in material trouble

Update: April, 11/2014 - 09:14
There are about 713 bamboo handicraft villages from almost 3,000 handicraft villages across the country.— Photo hanoimoi

HA NOI (VNS)— The quantity and quality of products have dipped following raw material shortages faced by handicraft villages, revealed Vice Chairman of Viet Nam Handicraft Exporters' Association Le Ba Ngoc.

Ngoc claimed that nearly half of the 1,700 rattan handicraft producers were operating below capacity and were at a risk of shutting down, as they failed to get adequate raw materials.

"About a decade ago, Viet Nam was able to get enough bamboo and rattan for handicraft production. However, currently, there is a dearth of raw materials and prices have increased," he pointed out.

Domestic handicraft producers now imported bamboo and rattan from China and Laos.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Handicraft Villages Association Luu Duy Dan reported that currently, there were about 713 bamboo handicraft villages from almost 3,000 handicraft villages across the country.

Bamboo handicraft villages needed at least 50,000 tonnes of rattan each year or over 12,000 hectares to grow rattan for each hectare to produce 3.5 tonnes.

The economists have urged the government to establish wholesale markets of raw materials for handicraft villages and to develop bamboo growing areas, reported the Nong thon ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper.

According to the economists, policies are needed to improve communication between growers, enterprises, and the state for investing in bamboo growing areas.

Viet Nam Handicraft Villages Association Chairman Dan remarked that farmers found it difficult to acquire loans to grow bamboo.

"A credit programme with preferential loans for bamboo growing will not only boost the bamboo industry, but also offer necessary support to the bamboo handicraft villages," he added. — VNS