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    Rajapolah, the Primadona of West Java Handicraft which penetrates the European Market


    TASIKMALAYA REGENCY-A row of stalls selling handmade woven handicrafts that meet the streets of the district is enough to prove that Rajapolah District is a home industry center in Tasikmalaya Regency.

    Woven products with raw materials mendong, pandanus and water hyacinth that are sold also vary, ranging from bags, hats, wallets, to pencil cases.

    Besides being unique, woven handicraft products sold in Rajapolah are known to be cheap with almost the same quality as items sold in stores. The enchantment of Rajapolah was also recognized by the Chairperson of the West Java Regional National Crafts Council (Dekranasda) Atalia Praratya Kamil.

    "We know that Rajapolah is the best producer of handicrafts for West Java, especially from mendong matting, pandanus, water hyacinth, and so on. Friends in this region work hand in hand in certain groups to produce works," said Atalia during a Mobile Broadcast ( Sarling) in the Tourism Village of Sukaruas Creative Village, District of Rajapolah Kab. Tasikmalaya, Wednesday (4/9/19).

    "The products of Tasikmalaya Regency are very popular. Therefore, this can be an example for others, how the work if done wholeheartedly will be many people who appreciate it," he added.

    Atalia hopes that the crafters and business centers in the Sukaruas Creative Village Tourism Village can increase the potential and innovation so that the results of his craft as one of the superior products of West Java will grow and be known to the wider community.

    "Hopefully our presence can increase the enthusiasm of business people especially in Tasikmalaya Regency to increase their production, including being able to foster new ideas. Because after all the designs that are raised at this time will continue to develop. So the craftsmen must be willing to study themselves, add knowledge new knowledge, including opening up especially new designs, "said Atalia.

    The mendong is a kind of grass plant that grows in swamps. Wild plants that grow to a length of more than one meter are dried, then manually woven into mats, bags and various other crafts.

    Ade Abubakar, one of the woven craftsmen who is also the Chairperson of the Sukaruas Creative Village Village Association, has successfully exported woven crafts to overseas. Ade said, all craftsmen in Sukaruas still use the manual method.

    While good quality raw materials are sent from Kebumen, Central Java, in the form of semi-finished products for processing into ready-made goods.

    "Alhamdulillah, we have been in the handicraft business for about 20 years. With 30 employees, the handicrafts produced can reach 4,000 pieces per month and produce a turnover of Rp150 million per month," said Ade.

    "Pure woven products made from home-based products in Sukaruas Rajapolah Creative Village are able to penetrate the European market. There are around three countries that are consumers today, namely Japan, Italy and Spain," he said.

    With the Tasikmalaya handicraft sales center, Rajapolah Permai has become a center for shopping tourism destinations with a cultural handicraft wisdom typical of the Tasikmalaya Regency community.

    Of course, this destination center is also an opportunity to improve the economic level of the local community. In addition, there are currently 60 homestays in Sukaruas Village that can be rented by visitors including students to learn more about Sukaruas Creative Tourism Village.


    Don't Forget Traditional Markets

    In this Sarling agenda, Atalia also visited Rajapolah Market, Tasikmalaya Regency. As the Chairperson of the West Java Province PKK as well as the Ambassador of the West Java People's Market, Atalia aggressively invites people to return to traditional markets as a means of buying and selling.

    "Today is a little different from Sarling before, because our visit starts from the market. We see how the Rajapolah market is already well organized and only how to organize its infrastructure," Atalia said.

    "Earlier (traders) were very compact, and in fact 750 traders were incorporated in the merchant community to ensure that they were prosperous," he added.

    According to Atalia, traditional markets are the main pillar of a nation's economy. If the economic wheels of traditional market traders are hampered, then the economy in a region will also be disrupted.

    In addition, traditional markets are also considered to be able to break the economic gap in society. Traditional markets, continued Atalia, not only concern the economy of the community but also the culture of bargaining and social interaction.

    "Hopefully in the future we can continue to encourage and increase the number of community visits to traditional markets. Given that many people are now lazy to come to traditional markets because of the increasingly modern markets and online shopping sites," he concluded.

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