Craft villages help preserve traditional identities and provide employment for thousands of local workers.
Ho Dac Quy is the long-time worker of a fishing net weaving workshop in Tân Hưng ward, Can Tho city. He is always thinking about ways to develop the craft and find a stable market for his products so that the lives of his workers can be improved. But he often encounters problems due to a lack of market information and capital.
Quy said: “I want the state to give us more production support – with trademark registration and transport permits, for example. That would make it easier for us to deliver our goods.”
Each year, Pho Tho - Ba Bo flower village in Long Hoa ward produces hundreds of different kinds of flowers, helping local households escape poverty and improve their lives.
Changing consumer demand and tastes have forced the villagers to change their production methods, apply high-tech, diversify, and create more expensive products.
Doan Huu Bon, the craft village’s vice chief, said high-tech application in production requires a hefty investment in greenhouses and automatic irrigation systems.
According to Bon, although such a system would make farmers less dependent on favorable weather, it costs them a lot of money.
Bon said: “The government should loan farmers part of the cost of the greenhouses. That would allow them to grow better products in a smaller area.”
Recognized craft villages will receive development incentives pursuant to a Government decree and a municipal decision.
Pham Lac Tien, Deputy Chairman of Tan Hung ward People’s Committee, spoke of problems confronting Thom Rom fishing net weaving village.
“What we need now is the capital promised by the Government decree. Our villagers have been unable to obtain loans to buy new equipment,” Tien explained.
Craft villages have become Can Tho's advantage to develop tourism.
Doan Ngoc Hoang Lam, Deputy Director of the Center for Agricultural Expansion Encouragement of the Can Tho Department of Industry and Trade, said the city has outlined a masterplan for developing craft villages and has created preferential policies to help them diversify their products.
“We will work with the Rural Development Agency to market craft villages’ products at trade fairs inside and outside the city and via trade promotion programs. We will also work with social policy banks to help craft villages obtain loans,” said Lam.
The development of community-based tourism in craft villages will also generate rural jobs and help preserve local culture.