Rattan and Bamboo Knitting Profession – A Direction for Making Rich in Cao Phong Commune


While the consumable market of the handicraft product made by several professional villages is in difficulty, the bamboo and rattan products made by Cao Phong Commune, Lap Thach District attracts the domestic and oversea markets. It is because of investment in-depth with many breakthrough steps in innovation of the product models and quality. This profession is considered as one to make legally rich for many households in the commune.

Coming to Cao Phong Commune in the early October we see the access flatly concreted road to its People’s Committee and the flatted roof of two or three storey houses on the both sides of the road, we find out the great change of the appearances of the professional village. Receiving us in the People’s Committee, Khong Van Co, Chairman of the Commune joyfully tells us “for some years back, this is still a poor countryside. It is very the market economy making our commune a new lif. Besides the professions of carpenter and masonry, the rattan and bamboo knitting profession is an advantage for economic development of Cao Phong. Before we only follow the traditional professions to make simple products such as basket, sieve now Cao Phong has two private enterprises and one cooperative of rattan and bamboo knitting product production who give employment to thousands of employees with stable salary ranging from 2.5 – 3.5 million VND/month. Total yearly revenue of the profession is over 20 billion VND. Many decorative fine art products with high economic value exported to provinces and cities as Phu Tho, Thai Binh, Ha Nam or Ha Noi and to East European market”.

According to the persons who have stuck long time on this profession, before, the main source of life of the commune farmers is the cassava and rice transplantation. In the leisure after harvest time, the farmers here have to work for somebody in other provinces. In the 80s of XX century, some employed labor in Ha Tay, Hung Yen, Thai Binh etc…   learned the rattan and bamboo knitting job in these provinces then came back to develop in the commune. At first, the products are only household use then sell them in the neighbor communes latter. Because these products are essential articles to our life and we find this job is can be done in the leisure after the harvest time and the brings higher income than rice cultivation so people here decide to expand the production scale and take the basket and sieve knitting is the main profession for economic development. Especially, in 2009 when the rattan and bamboo knitting in Moi Hamlet is acknowledged officially as a traditional profession by Vinh Phuc People’s Committee, the profession has advanced one more space and many labor of the commune is given job. 80% of the households participate in production at their own homes attracting labor from the old to the children. The people’s life of the commune people is clearly increased.

Visiting Khong Tien Da’s private enterprise nearly at noon in Moi Hamlet that specializes in production of rattan and bamboo knitting of fine art products but about 20 persons still work absorbedly in polishing with great care of each rattan string for knitting lamp shade, some people are in side the house and some others in the yard, all of them pay great care to each work. The smaller houses around used to be the store for finished products or semi-finished products. The fresh rattan is transported from Cam Khe, Bai Bang of Phu Tho Province. Through the stages as scraping, polishing, drying by sulphur, drying out, put to polisher and measuring the length of each string then create the figure and finalizing the products. Besides his establishment in Cao Phong, he has two affiliates in Dai Dinh Commune of Tam Dao District and Hoang Dan Commune of Tam Duong District with over 200 workers to do seasonal work. Their average income is 100,000 VND/working day.

I learn the rattan and bamboo knitting profession from the time I went buying scrap iron in Ha Tay, Hung Yen provinces. Thinking that this profession can be developed well in our commune because our commune has the profession of knitting basket, sieve by bamboo and rattan. So after some months of learning, I came back and taught my wife to do knitting. My first products are lamp shade, gift square tray. When making dozen pieces, I brought to Ha Tay selling to some agents. Knowing that this profession can bring about double income as compared with basket or sieve knitting, so many families ask me to teach them. In 2006, Tien Da private enterprise established and the enterprise develops day after day as he has occupied the markets in many provinces and cities in the country and export to several East European countries. From the beginning year to now, despite of the economic recession, the enterprise has signed export contract for rattan and bamboo knitting with the revenue of nearly 5 billion VND” said Da.

If only living on some Sao (360m2) of rice field, cassava field even in dreaming, Nguyen Thi Tinh’s family in Moi Hamlet could think she can has two storey flatted roof house built with enough facilities and appliances such as TV, refrigerator and motorbike and support her three children in studying as present. “Farmer is only busy some ten days in the harvest time, much free time so I receive the order from the production establishments to work at home. If I work regularly, one month I can obtain about four – five million VND from knitting the lamp shade or displayed articles…” she told us.

However, the same as many other professional villages, rattan and bamboo knitting job in Co Phong also cause pollution. The effort made by the people and commune Government themselves can not solve problem. In addition, the scale of production is small, not high professionally, shortage of investment capital and consumable markets are the big difficulty of the professional villages. The people here need to have an industrial cluster to reduce the pollution; support them in equipments, machines and the concreted transport road to the hamlets for convenient for their commodities and materials transport. On the other hand, the enterprise and people wish to access the preferential loan to develop their production and training high skill workers.

Chairman of Cao Phong People’s Committee Khong Van Co expressed clearly that the Communal Party Committee and Government defined the rattan and bamboo knitting profession is spearhead profession to develop the socio- economy of the Commune in coming years. But for the professional villages actually develop, the province and the district should pay attention to provide favorable conditions for the people to loan, to attend the training courses of making different models or participate in craft fairs or exhibitions; intensify the products advertisement. When they have stable markets, they shall follow the profession and make rich for themselves and for their native land.

                                                                                                                          Bich Phuong         

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