Villagers dyeing to supplement income

Suriayani (right) and Abdul Rasid showing their tie-dye batik and eco-print products. — Bernama

SURIAYANI Wahap, 55, doesn’t see her age as a barrier when venturing into the production of tie-dye batik and eco-print handicrafts.

Keen to improve her family’s income, Suriayani from Kampung Santubong, about 35km from Kuching, was among the 50 participants at a recent Craft Product Development and Production Laboratory programme in her village in Sarawak.

She currently depends on her husband’s income as a fisherman and homestay operator.

“I sell salted fish to supplement my family’s income, which is not enough for our expenses. So, I am pushed to learn to make tie-dye batik products for additional income,” she said.

Suriayani said her initial plan was to produce batik products to sell to tourists visiting the village and her homestay.

The three-day course was to expose participants to craft production as well as develop their skills in the making of quality craft products.

The course was held as part of the Community Skills Development Project (PPKK) and a joint initiative by the state and federal governments.

It has benefitted more than 443 local communities in Sarawak.

Another villager who also attended the course, Abdul Rasid Bujang, 55, said he saw the potential in marketing handicrafts internationally.

“These skills will open job opportunities for the younger generation,” he said.

Both Suriayani and Abdul Rasid believe that tie-dye batik products could be an attraction for tourists in the Santubong area.

Meanwhile, Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry was actively working with Sarawak government to implement various incentives such as the People’s Protection Package and Economic Recovery to help build entrepreneurs across the country.

Programmes were implemented to encourage local residents to venture into the handicraft industry to generate income.

The various initiatives are to boost the batik handicraft industry, especially the ones implemented in the state, and are hoped to give added value to the local tourism products. — Bernama

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