Explore overseas market please: Raratabu

June 20, 2024 4:13 pm

Fijian weaver Lanieta Raratabu from Muanaicake village in Fulaga

Fijian weaver Lanieta Raratabu, from Muanaicake village in Fulaga, is calling on the Government to reassess the pricing of arts and handicrafts and explore overseas markets for local crafters.

Speaking to FBC News, Raratabu highlights the significant market potential observed during her participation in the Pacific Festival of Arts and Culture in Hawaii.

Raratabu emphasizes that the festival has been an eye-opener, revealing the higher market prices available abroad.

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[Fijian weaver Lanieta Raratabu]

Despite her exceptional weaving skills bringing her to such international platforms, she notes that the local market often fails to recognize the true value of her work.

“Participating in the Pacific Festival of Arts and Culture has shown me that there is a substantial market for our crafts overseas, however, the local market does not reflect the time and effort that goes into creating these products. The cost of living is high, and the returns from our sales do not compensate for the labour and resources invested.”

Raratabu urges the government to support local entrepreneurs by facilitating access to international markets.

She stresses that crafting is a labour-intensive process, and the current pricing structure does not fairly compensate the artisans.

Raratabu’s plea highlights the need for policies that recognize the economic potential of traditional Fijian crafts and provide local artisans with opportunities to thrive on a global stage.