SME Authority, Al Rafd join hands to support artisans in Dhofar

SALALAH: March 10: Artisans in Dhofar got a boost after two major authorities decided to join hands with the Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI) to give a boost to them working in different wilayats of the governorate. The good news was communicated to the artisans, who had gathered in large numbers at the annual meeting of the PACI Dhofar Governorate branch yesterday at Salalah Rotana Resort.

The meeting was held marking Handicraft Day, celebrated every year on March 3.

The meeting was held under the auspices of Mandar Ahmed al Marhoon, Wali of Thumrait in presence of Abdullah al Dawdi, PACI chief in Dhofar, Mohammed Ahmed al Sanah al Mushaikhi of Al Rafd Fund and Mohammed Ahmed Al Ghassani, in-charge of newly established Salalah chapter of the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

Mohammed Ahmed Al GhassaniGiving an insight into PACI activities in Dhofar, Amer Tabook of PACI, Dhofar said there were more than 5,000 registered artisans in Dhofar.

“Most of them are women and take active participation in training programmes, awareness drives and other such activities being taken by several authorities from time to time.” He also said that there were about 18 ‘house museums’ operational in Dhofar and served the twin purposes of marketing and exhibition.

“Most of them are full time artisans operating from their homes and supplying products to several shops, showrooms and festivals being organised from time to time. To ensure that they do not have to bother about marketing, PACI buys their products and sells them in Muscat from where they are distributed at many places,” he said.

PACI provides craft care and support initiatives that include providing artisans with modern craft equipment, as well as contributing to the marketing and promotion of the outstanding craftsmen and engage them in local, regional and international exhibitions.

The Crafts Authotity supports craftsmen according to their geographical environmental needs through the development of specialised crafts in the wilayats. There are craft training and production centres in every wilayat to support the artisans.

Al Ghassani, SME in-charge of Dhofar, said modalities were being formulated to support the artisans in terms of training, technical and policy supports.

The Public Authority of SMEs, according to him, has been evolving ways to make the craft business professionally functional with need based national and international exposure.

“We are planning to have dedicated committees to boost the handicraft movement, which is a major link between our past and present as also a supplementary source of income for the artisans and their families,” said Al Ghassani and promised all possible support to the sector.

Al Mushaikhi of Al Rafd Fund reiterated his commitment to strengthen the handicraft sector by offering loan and all possible support before and after the commissioning of the project.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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