President Ali commits to reviving traditional handicraft industry in Rupununi
President Irfaan Irfaan Ali on Friday met with two residents of Sand Creek Village, South Rupununi and committed Government’s support toward the revival of traditional handicraft practices such as hammock making in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine). The meeting was held at the Office of the President.
During the meeting, Mr. Ken Farria and his wife Ruth Xavier noted that the women of Sand Creek and 14 other villages in the Deep South and South Central Rupununi pool their resources to make hammocks and create employment opportunities.
The hammocks, they noted, can be sold for as much as $100,000 given the quality and composition. However, the couple said access to outside markets remain a challenge and they are, therefore, seeking Government’s assistance in this regard.
To this end, in keeping with the promises made by the Government in its 2020 Manifesto to promote the creation of markets; to increase funding to small businesses; to support job creation and focus on the economic empowerment of women in all regions, President Ali said that the region can be assured of the Government’s support.
The Head of State said funding will be provided and an online platform will be set up to assist in the marketing of the art and craft products, which also include pure honey.
“We will work on reviving the industry and also work on an online platform. You produce honey and there is a market for that as well. So we will work with you, but we will need the people in the villages to come together and work with us as well to get this off the ground,” the President said.
The couple also commended President Ali for re-introducing the Community Support Officers (CSOs) programme, which they said will go a long way in providing employment and opportunities for the hinterland youth.
This initiative aimed at developing young Amerindians in the various villages and communities through the creation of job opportunities, capacity building and strengthening their individual interests and skills.