Crafting a successful model

Nancy trying her hand at weaving a rattan basket during her visit to Kraftangan Malaysia’s Sarawak branch in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

CRAFT entrepreneurs in Sarawak have generated over RM1mil in sales via an online platform since its launch last April.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the e-kraf bazar initiative was introduced to help craft entrepreneurs sell their products online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The response to e-kraf bazar has been very encouraging since its launch.

“In Sarawak, we have 140 craft entrepreneurs on e-kraf bazar and sales between last April to January this year amounted to RM1.5mil, ” she told reporters during a visit to Kraftangan Malaysia’s Sarawak branch at Jalan Stadium in Kuching.

E-kraf bazar, which is available on Facebook, is one of several digital initiatives launched by Kraftangan Malaysia to assist craft entrepreneurs.

Another is MyCraftShoppe, a digital marketplace offering various items within the craft ecosystem, including craft products, product design, raw materials and after-sales service.

MyCraftShoppe, which began operations in October last year, currently has 436 entrepreneurs registered and 5,750 products in stock.

In Sarawak, the platform attracted 39 entrepreneurs with 696 products in stock, Nancy said.

“In addition, we have set up craft communities in villages to assist those affected by Covid-19.

“We have also developed 174 new craft products in Sarawak.

“We see that the numbers are quite encouraging in Sarawak and we hope to get more people involved, ” she said.

Nancy added that the National Craft Institute would offer skills development courses in songket and pua (Iban textile) weaving at its satellite campuses in Kuching and Betong this year.

“We are targeting 25 participants for the songket course in Kuching and another 25 for pua weaving in Betong.

“This is important so that we can continue to sustain interest among the young in learning these skills, ” she said.

The two-year courses, which will start in July, are open to interested Malaysians aged 18 to 35.

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