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Cooperative develops abaca handicraft industry

August 28, 2009 (Philippines)

The province of Compostela Valley established the Co-operative Handicraft Industry of Nabunturan (CHAIN), through which it has institutionalized its Abaca handicraft industry. Nabunturan, the capital of ComVel province has been recognized for producing high-quality handicrafts from woven abaca fabric.

Before few decades, Nabunturan and other towns in the undivided Davao del Norte were heavy producers of abaca fibre mainly for industrial use. The abaca handicraft is known as a ‘One Town One Product’ (OTOP) of the town due to its visibility and originality.

Shrinking demand for abaca and trend of shifting to other agricultural products are challenges which this handicraft enterprise is facing. This forced the various stake holders of Nabunturan to set up CHAIN, under which they have started putting efforts towards the development of the town’s abaca handicraft industry.

Abaca handicrafts of CHAIN have continuously proved to be saleable and profitable, despite of the challenges it has been facing, manifested by the good sales generated at trade fairs and exhibits. Coping-up with increasing orders has also become a challenge for the industry, which rose due to higher sales, said an expert.

CHAIN has a well skilled and seasoned workforce but at times it has to refuse some new orders due to its low production capacity on account of its aging workforce. As a measure to overcome such a difficult situation of the industry, a skills training programme on Abaca handicrafts had been conducted by DTI-ComVal.

DTI utilized its comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) for this skills training, which was specially designed to provide more weavers and sewers to CHAIN who can swell their workforce as per the requirement.

Over 25 women interested in handicraft making had been trained for three-days as per the standard and quality of the CHAIN abaca handicrafts. The expert weavers and sewers of CHAIN imparted training on abaca weaving, braiding, assembling various items of abaca handicrafts through sewing.

DTI-ComVal also assisted CHAIN on the matter of financial management, through its Financial Analyst under CLEEP. DTI assisted CHAIN to sustain and develop the cottage industry, which has offered recognition and distinction to Nabunturan.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India
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