DTI-12 upgrades local crafts through product dev’t thrust PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 March 2014 14:00

The Region 12 office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-12) in Koronadal City is certain the 40 local entrepreneurs that trained this week on comprehensive product development will soon produce more competitive wearable and home styling goods that can be sold outside the region.

Organizers of the training, held at the FB Hotel in Koronadal City, also looks forward at eventually obtaining a “trade share” in the international market for indigenous projects from Region 12.

The purpose of the DTI-12’s March 17-18 training on comprehensive product development, with Rey Luciano Soliven as design and creative consultant,  was to provide participants with new insights on how to interconnect with market contacts outside of Central Mindanao.

The training was also meant to educate participants on how to achieve high quality of products, and to encourage other prospective entrepreneurs to venture on production of wearable and home styling merchandise out of indigenous, readily obtainable organic materials.

“For decades now, Region 12 has been producing wearable and home style products and handicrafts and other decorative and souvenir items using indigenous materials which abound in the area. Yet, when we talk of quality, in terms of design, creativity and durability, our products are off-fashioned if compared to those from other regions,” the DTI-12 stated in a document endorsing the need for its product development thrust.

The document underscored the abundance of raw materials in the region — abaca fiber, water hyacinth, cogon grass, balabak sea grass, corn husk, hand-woven fabrics such as the traditional  t’nalak and inaul cloth, bamboo, coconut shells, pandan and buri leaves  — that can be fashioned into exportable souvenir items and home decors.

There are also traditional community industries in the region such as silver and gold jewelry fabrication, and ornamental brassware production, according to the DTI-12.

The initial batch of 40 entrepreneurs that underwent the DTI-12’s two-day training were comprised of eight participants from South Cotabato, six from North Cotabato, six from Sultan Kudarat, seven from Cotabato City, and five from Gen. Santos City.

Some of the participants already availed themselves of the DTI’s Shared Service Facilities (SSF) program that provided them technical support and special equipment needed to hasten their production of home design and souvenir items out of indigenous, organic materials.

The DTI-12’s initial comprehensive development program training in Central Mindanao was partly intended to generate employment, increase the production of new high quality products, and upgrade the product innovation skills and knowledge of participants. — Felix Ostrea