Wood carvers benefit from marketing and packaging course
The six- day workshop was organized by the World Wide Fund (WWF), a global conservation organization with sponsorship from the French embassy in Ghana. WWF’s West Africa Forest Programme Office (WAFPO) is based in Ghana. Speaking at the closing ceremony, the consultant for the workshop, Mr. Osei Bobie Boahin, Head of Department at the Integrated Rural Art and Industry (IRAI) at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said that the aim of the training was to equip the carvers with new skills that would help them compete with their foreign counterparts.
According to him most of works done by the wood carvers were seen to be duplicates of other works and therefore the workshop aimed at giving them innovative ideas to help them come up with their own concepts. Also currently most of the wood carvers at the AIC and other centers depend mainly on some particular trees for their work and those trees were reducing at a fast rate which would mean that within some few years most of them would be out of job.
It was to avert the situation of job loss that we decided during the workshop to introduce them to other equally useful trees such as the nim tree, etc which although common is not used for carving, he indicated. In addition Mr. Boahin said that it was further realized that most of them did not have the requisite knowledge on wood preservation and as part of the training they were taken through wood preservation methods using local plants so as to help them in their endeavors.
The Consultant said that the training also afforded the wood carvers the opportunity to learn more about how to come out with better finished products and market them for the international market. The Vice-President of AIC, Mr. Addo Biney indicated that the workshop had opened their eyes to many issues that hitherto were not known to them. According to him through the workshop, they have learnt about the best practices in designing and marketing among other topics to help them compete with their fellow counterparts on the international market.
Mr. Biney said although they were surrounded by different trees that are beneficial to their work out of ignorance such trees have been ignored by most of them but through the workshop they have learnt about the use of other trees that are equally good like those they use. He said that the workshop rekindled the hope of many especially the youth who at a point were pessimistic about the future of the profession and therefore were looking at other business enterprises aside the wood carving industry.
Aside the positive impact of the workshop the Mr. Biney called on the WWF to provide them with the needed equipments to help them in their work at the centre. Also the Vice President called on the WWF to help them get involved in exhibition fairs which would help them get the necessary exposure needed to market their products on the international market.
The Forest Programme leader of WWF-WAFPO, Dr. Kwame Asamoah said that his outfit was interested in all human activities that impact on the environment. He indicated that the workshop was to help wood carvers cut-down waste in the use of wood thus ensuring that any period in time their products would be marketable and also sustainable.
Author: Selorm Amevor