KUALA LUMPUR – Mengkuang products have achieved global recognition when the heritage handicraft has been adopted by the world renowned coffee-based company, Starbucks, as a selling point.
Mengkuang handicraft supervisor of Kampung Pasir and Kampung Ulu Slim in Slim River, Perak, Lokmanul Hakim, said the products were hot cup sleeves, coasters and bags.
“They (Starbucks) said tourists such as those from Japan love the arome of the mengkuang leaves,” he said, adding that the move would popularise mengkuang products internationally.
“This opportunity will also generate a source of economy for rural entrepreneurs who are mainly housewives and school leavers,” he told Bernama at the Women’s Creative Exhibition held in conjunction with the UMNO General Assembly 2015 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here, today.
Kampung Pasir and Kampung Ulu Slim are the suppliers of products made from mengkuang, a tropical plant with tall, thorny leaves.
Lokmanul said skills training as well as mengkuang craft workshops, which were organised since last year, through the initiatives of Behrang assemblywoman Datuk Rusnah Kassim, also received support from Kraftangan Malaysia.
He said SIRIM Bhd also contributed two machines, namely ‘menjangka’ and ‘melurut’ to facilitate and expedite the process of producing mengkuang handicraft items.
A total of 16 booths are showcasing creative products and handicrafts by individuals and related agencies at the exhibition which is organised for the second time by Wanita UMNO Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Secretariat for four days beginning today. – BERNAMA