By Lucy Kopana – EMTV News, Lae
The Lufa Cane Weaver’s are a small group of people from Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. They have been weaving baskets and other crafts, to sell for over 10 years.
Much of their small business is carried out on foot. Spokesperson Fena Iyaroka says there needs to be a designated craft market or area in Lae, where they can sell their products. The small group travels to Lae to sell their items, because of the lack of market opportunities in their home province.
EMTV News met Fena and two others at Eriku in Lae, carrying the woven baskets and trays for sale. This is part of their normal routine.
On average, they sell four to five of these items daily. This is one an important avenue they use to earn an income.
He said, if they decide to rent a space in Lae to operate out from, it would be too expensive.
Minister for National Planning Richard Maru says the government has plans to address such problems, both in the formal and informal sector.
He said they are negotiating a partnership with UN Women to create safe markets, especially for women and mothers, in the informal sector.
“We are then going to look at a program for the formal sector…in Port Moresby at 6 Mile already the first pilot project will be built by NCD to put an incubation center or shops and all that for our local SME’s. Depending on the success of that, we can look at the national rollout” Mr. Maru said.