BINTULU: Some RM12,000 worth of transactions has been recorded at the Non-Timber Forest Products (NFTP) Exhibition and Promotion programme at Similajau National Park (SNP) since last Friday, disclosed Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton.
He said it was due to encouraging response from the visitors to the local handicraft products and on the second day of the event (Saturday), the Similajau National Park had registered about 600 visitors to the park and he was expecting the numbers to increase up to 800 visitors on the third day yesterday.
He said the three-day programme was an initiative by SFC Bintulu Regional Office to assist and improve the socio economy of the locals.
“This exhibition is participated by seven longhouses – from Long Lidem Belaga, Long Tanyit Belaga, Rh Radin Sangan, Rh Engkulau Kakus, Rh Bangun Sangan, Uma Bakui Ukap Sg Asap and Rh Nanang Sangan which consists of the Iban, Kayan and Penan tribes,” he said.
He added since last Friday, the programme has received overwhelming response from the public and foreign tourists.
For the next edition, he said it would be held on a much bigger scale and centred at the town area in order to attract more visitors.
“We want the people to get involved and will hold it in town to make it easy for people to come and we are committed to this programme as one of the ways to assist the villagers to earn extra income.
“I hope the NTFP Exhibition can be extended to other national parks as I believe local handicraft products have high potential to uplift the socio-economy of the local people,” said Zolkipli.
He also hoped the future exhibitors will sell their products at cheaper prices than that offered at the souvenir shops.
One of the exhibitors, Justina from Mujan Handicraft when met at the exhibition booth, said the response from the public to the local handicraft products was very good.
“I just came here and set up my booth yesterday (Oct 12) and it is a really good exhibition as we receive lots of customers and we were forced to restock our products again to meet the request of the visitors,” she said.
Justina praised SFC for organising such exhibition at the national park as it was indeed effective in promoting the local handicraft products to the local and international tourists.
SFC general manager Oswald Braken Tisen, SFC Bintulu regional manager Endela Tipot, Bintulu Single Mothers Association chairperson Hanita Dahlan, SNP warden Salvia Sembai Ettin and two speakers and instructors for the event Magdeline Rachan Assan and Victoria Mujan including the community from Belaga, Sangan, Kakus and Sg Asap were present at the closing ceremony.