Demand for coconut handicrafts high, but production low

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Coconut handicrafts displayed at the market. Photo: Zayyatu (Magway)

Although handicrafts produced from coconut shells enjoy a strong demand in the market, the number of artisans engaged in the craft is too low to cater to the demand, said U Htay Aung, who owns a ‘Shwelatyar’ coconut shell handicraft business.
“Coconut handicraft businesses can create job opportunities, but artisans can seldom be found even in Ayeyawady and Taninthayi regions, where coconut trees are found and yields are high. Handicrafts from dried coconut are first created by artisans from Magway Region. They are then sent to markets in Myathalun and Shwesettaw pagodas,” he said.
“Both locals and foreigners like to buy the products. We would like to invite young people interested in observing this art because there are few artisans involved in coconut handicraft production, in spite of the high demand in the market,” he added.
“Since 2011, we have been producing monkey, elephant, and bird toys from dried coconut shells. Later, we added 30 products, including handbags, combs, buttons, stationery products, cups, flower pots, and others to the list.
The prices range from K3,000 to K10,000, depending on the products,” said Daw Kyu Kyu Khine from a ‘Shwelatyar’ dried coconut handicraft business.
“To produce coconut toys, fresh coconuts need to be dried for a month and half, and artisans can produce two toys per day. We need more machines to improve productivity,” according to artisans engaged in the sector. —Zayyatu (Magway)
(Translated by La Wonn)

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