The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has promised Hanoi investments in traditional crafts village conservation that will not only target production but also be friendly to the environment.
Deputy MARD Minister Ho Xuan Hung unveiled the plan at a workshop on September 17 as part of a one-week festival entitled “Crafts Villages, Crafts Streets of Thang Long-Hanoi” beginning on September 16.
Hung said the scheme would also aim to harmonise production while maintaining traditional cultural identity and focusing on crafts of rich cultural and economic value for sustainable development.
Along with the conservation of traditional crafts in danger of extinction, such as handmade Nepal paper in Van Canh village and traditional music instruments in Dao Xa village, MARD plans to develop new crafts in several villages to meet market demand, said the deputy minister.
He said the ministry has worked out numerous concrete steps to speed up the work such as upgrading rural traffic and communications systems, integrating tourism into traditional crafts development and intensifying investments in personnel training.
MARD also plans to diversify financial sources for conservation and development of traditional crafts villages, Hung added.
The scheme was prompted by the fact that craft village conservation has been ignored to some extent since 2000 and the work has revealed some problems such as serious environmental pollution, limited market share, poor product design and unknown trademarks.
Hanoi is home to 1,350 crafts villages, accounting for almost 59 percent of the total number of villages nationwide and providing jobs for over 626,000 locals. Their production value reached over 7.65 trillion VND (38.76 billion USD) annually, making up 8.4 percent of the municipal industrial revenues.
The history of municipal crafts villages dates back hundreds of years. For example the Bat Trang ceramics village was founded 600 years ago, the Chuon Ngo mother-of-pearl village, 1,000 years ago and the Van Phuc Natural Silk village, 1,200 years ago.
Many of these crafts were typical to Hanoi as they are only produced in the capital city - such as porcelain, gold and silver coating and natural silk making.