Rattan processors in Ghana are getting support to sustainably improve their products, income and livelihoods.
Rattan has been identified as an important tool in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development in Ghana, but the rattan industry is suffering from outdated technology, resulting in lower-quality designs and subsequently, lower incomes.
Currently, baskets and furniture constitute about 75 percent of rattan products sold domestically. The artisan technology used results in products with little durability and production is often under tree canopies along major streets where the products are also sold.
INBAR is partnering with a number of stakeholders such as the Centre for National Culture, the Atwima Nwabiagya District Assemly, and the bamboo and rattan development programme BARADP to train artisans with the help of the Skill Development Fund (SDF) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). These rattan artisan groups hope that with improved efficiency and technology in rattan production, producers can sell higher-quality products that will contribute to higher incomes.
As one of the newly trained people, District Culture Officer at the Atwima Nwabiagya District Assembly Doreen Aba Mensah is excited about the opportunity to give, and for women and young people to venture into the production of bamboo and rattan products, creating employment opportunities and reducing poverty at the local level in Ghana. Aba Mensah is hopeful that the Rattan Training Centre established at Nkawie in the Atwima Nwabiagya District will help boost the tourism potential of the district.