Torba MP Danny Silas is a strong supporter of the local handicraft producers in Torba province. Through his budget allocation, a cash amount of 75,000vt was donated last Friday 25th September for air tickets to enable two Torba handicraft producers travel to Port Vila to participate in a Handicraft Sales Exhibition marking the annual 2nd October Torba Day celebrations.
Torba Handicraft Cooperative (THC) was established in 2018 with 15 local producers and now has a total of 26 registered producers who will be showcasing their extraordinary handicraft skills in Port Vila. Their products will demonstrate their refined production skills and their use of natural resources.
Through the Torba Skills Centre under the Ministry of Education and Training, and supported by the the Australian Government funded Vanuatu Skills Partnership, an ongoing program of training and business coaching has been delivered collaboratively with the Vanuatu Department of Industry to the THC producers. This combines workshops and mentoring on product design – delivered in the community setting – as well as assistance in facilitating market access channels.
The Torba Handicraft Cooperative is a strong advocate for inclusiveness and has registered two producers with disabilities who are generating regular income from their products. There is more potential to engage with people living with disabilities as producers in the province and the Torba Skills Centre is actively supporting this priority.
This is the third sales exhibition event in Port Vila in which the Torba Handicraft Cooperative will be participating for 2020. In these difficult economic times, these sales exhibitions provide the opportunity for rural producers to test the market demand for their products, improve their sales and marketing skills and in the process boost their moral to retain their involvement in this important cultural industry.