Maldives has always been dependent on foreign products for economic stability and fulfillment of basic needs. The lack of locally made products is so vast that tourists often complain about the genuineness of the items available. However, a local NGO, Naifaru Juvenile has renewed hopes for local products by launching its own brand of fish leather, “Maldives Originals”.
Naifaru Juvenile from Lhaviyani Atoll broke the anticipation to launch its own brand of “truly Maldivian” fish leather. Although the “Maldives Originals” brand leather products does not have a reliable market at present, this is a line of work that can be undertaken by young Maldivians seeking employment prospects.
Deputy Chairperson of Naifaru Juvenile, Mohamed Ahmed (Kamma) said that when they perceived the idea to produce leather from fish skin, an intensive research was made to find methods to create these products. He said that a Swedish national who has been successful in the business was brought to the Maldives to provide training for 10 Maldivians.
Basically, two main methods are used to produce leather from fish skin. One method is a tanning method embarked by using olive oil and chicken eggs and the other is a traditional tanning method. Naifaru Juvenile is using these two methods to create their leather products.
The tanning method using olive oil and chicken eggs can be completed within 48 hours while about a week is taken to create the final product using the traditional method as it needs leaves and tree barks.
The Art shop of Naifaru Juvenile showcases products made out of leather from different types of reef fish. Products made out of reef fish leather include key chains, straps and other materials. Naifaru Juvenile hopes that wallets and phone cases made out of fish leather will be introduced to the market within a month.
Naifaru Juvenile believes that this work is an easy ad profitable opportunity that can be undertaken by housewives. This is also a huge step to reduce the number of souvenir items imported into the country and to increase the number of locally made products. Naifaru Juvenile is aspiring to bring truly “Made in Maldives” products to the thousands of tourists visiting the country every year.
This aticle was first published on Channel New Maldives (CNM) – cnm.mv –
The Maldives economy has seen a great improvement and development during the past 25 years. The country’s different sectors have progressed while infrastructure, education, politics and foreign relations has also seen an improvement. Although many local businessmen, politicians and other individuals are being praised for their part in this progress, the contributions of foreigners to this country cannot be undermined.
1. Male’, the capital of Maldives, inhabited by over one third of the country’s total population, is seen as a concrete jungle. The country’s GDP increased by 7.3 percent from 1997 to 2012, mainly due to the contributions of the many foreigners visiting and working here.
2. Bangladeshi construction workers unloading materials from a lorry in Majeedhi Magu of Male’. Since the year 2000, construction industry has progressed significantly in Maldives while the majority of employees in the industry are Bangladeshi nationals.
3. Employees at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital cleaning the hospital gate and walls. Many Indian nationals are filling a range of posts at the hospital, as doctors and janitors, while the hospital is a grant aid from the Indian government.
4. Firboaz Yoosuf, 23, an Indian, has been working as a street vendor in Male’ for the past six months. While many foreigners are involved in this business, their tastes and delicacies are being accepted and adopted by the local Maldivians, including the Paan which has now been locally named as Molhu Bileiy Gandu.
5. A foreigner riding a bicycle loaded with waste on the Bodu Thakuru Faanu Magu in Male’. The local population of the country is not involved in low profile jobs such as carrying waste, and it is the foreigners that contribute to the economy by carrying out this key job.
6. A group of foreigners selling fruits and vegetables at the Male’ local market. Apart from working as vendors, foreigners are also involved in the primary industry of the country, sometimes working as fishermen and farmers.
7. Mohamed Aleem, 30, has been working at a sewing station in Male’ for the past six years. While the demand for such sewing stations among local women is great, the majority of male workers in this field are foreigners from neighboring countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
8. A foreign man at work near the Male’ waste area, collecting reusable items to sell at the Neelan Fihaara or second hand market. The second hand market is popular among the low income populations and expatriates living and working in the country.
9. Staff of Villa Gas loading gas cylinders onto a lorry. While Maldives has two main gas companies, Maldive Gas and Villa Gas, most of the workers employed in delivering gas cylinders are expatriates.
10. A tourist couple taking a walk near the Male’ sea wall at the Artificial Beach area. The Sea Wall, a grant aid from the Japanese government, helps in protecting the island just 1.5 meters above sea level, from the destructive waves of the ocean. Meanwhile, over a million tourists visited Maldives last year, contributing immensely to the country’s development and economy.