The market demand for local handicrafts in Sri Lanka has seen an increase, Western Province Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Minor Irrigation, Industries, Environment, Arts and Cultural Affairs Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. He made these remarks participating at the inauguration of Hastha 2014, the Western Province Handicrafts Exhibition at the National Arts Gallery on Friday (Aug. 01).
Minister Gammanpila said Sri Lanka's Gross Domestic Production has increased by three times during the past nine years while the number of foreigners visiting Sri Lanka has increased with the end of the war.
"This has resulted in the increase of market opportunities for local handicraftsmen within the country. We should provide more facilities for craftsmen to meet the demand," he said.
Gammanpila said the Western Provincial Council has already taken measures to provide technical assistance, training and equipment and also encourage craftsmen by organising competitions. He also emphasized the need to create quality crafts meeting international standards.
The exhibition was organised by the Western Province Industries Department on the directive of Western Province Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Minor Irrigation Industries and Environment Ministry.
The creations including brass and metal ware, leather products, coconut shell creations, batik, natural, raw material, timber and wooden crafts and garments turned out by 449 provincial craftsmen.