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Folk craft makes big fortune

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, November 14, 2011
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Shoes, bookshelves, storage baskets... these items are wickerwork made from a special osier in this village. And all of them are customized products for overseas clients. Wickerwork has accompanied the folks here for over 1,000 years, but they never thought it would bring them big fortune.

Guo Yan, famer, said " I used to make wickerwork products for myself, and maybe sell some occasionally. As I get more and more orders from home and abroad, I make more products and develop more styles. Now I can earn 30,000 to 50,000 RMB a year!"

With the money, Guo built a new house and bought a truck. There are more than 40,000 farmers like Guo Yan in the county, most of whom are working for local factories. These factories connect the craftsmen with the market, making the traditional craft a prosperous industry. Orders are flying into the small county from across the world.

This arrangement comes with the government’s support. The factories receive preferential tax polices, and what’s more, the local government even provides intellectual support. A group of professors and students from universities makes up a survey panel, providing suggestions for the factories.

Pan Lusheng, Dean of Shandong College of Art and Design, said "We did a lot of market research and we also go to the villages to look at the products. We discover the gap between them and provide our suggestions to the manufacturers. Our work certainly promotes the development of the industry."

Li Xiuling, manuefacturer, said "A lot of orders come from Europe and America, so now we have developed many new styles in order to meet market demands. With the change, the orders are increasing too. We decided to renew our products every year!"

There are 118 wickerwork factories in the county. In 2010 they made 30 million USD by exporting the products. In Shandong Province alone, with its abundant folk crafts heading to international markets, 1.5 million farmers are benefiting.

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