Environment-friendly woven "balase" craft should be nurtured

Environment-friendly woven "balase" craft should be nurtured

Women, who are part of the woven craft 'balase' business, a local handicraft product using agel palm leaves as raw materials in Buton and South Buton. (ANTARA PHOTO/HO-Istimewah/KT).

Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The woven craft business of “balase” in Buton and South Buton Districts in Southeast Sulawesi using agel palm leaves as raw materials should be given attention and preserved as a hereditary local business.

Balase artisans should be given sustainable attention, especially in the form of training, so that the products can be better and varied and be followed by a better market price, Yunan, one of the balase business players at Baubau, noted through a message received here on Thursday.

"The artisans we have developed are generally old women. Our hope is that the government would motivate the young generation to become new woven artisans that can produce greater," he explained.

The market price of woven balase still lies in the range of Rp10,000 to Rp15,000 based on the size.

Meanwhile, old women artisans produce on an average around three to five bags per day, he stated.

Yunan noted that woven balase is environment-friendly. The community that came to Buton and South Buton has made the products as unique souvenirs, wherein they are used as attractive containers to replace plastic bags.

Balase bags support daily activities and serve as substitute containers for plastic bags, he added.

It is one of the efforts to reduce plastic waste that has become a cause of increasing concern regarding the environmental impact.

Yunan is optimistic of the government providing access and facilitating product marketing in the Buton islands region. Thus, the product can improve instead of becoming monotonous.

To this end, he expressed optimism that the market demand would rise nationally and internationally.

Meanwhile, a former member of Southeast Sulawesi Regional People's Representative Council (DPRD), who is concurrently a member of the Buton community, Yaudu Salam Ajo, noted that the local government must be present to encourage the growth of local businesses in bolstering the local economy due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The society is in dire need of help, not only to meet their daily food needs but also in business training and skills," he noted.

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