SUNDAY, February 25, 2024

From a mere weed to branded products – the story of krajood craft

Krajood (grey sedge) was once considered a worthless weed but has now become an invaluable source for export products thanks to the Department of International Trade Promotion.

Manatpong Senghuad, vice president of the Varni Community Enterprise Learning Centre, tells us how local krajood (grey sedge) mats from his community entered the global market.

"Krajood Varni or Varni Craft started from a small community business where the villagers worked on basketry, using local wisdom to weave mats. But the problem was we did not know who or where to sell the finished products.

“Then we created a community enterprise. There was also a marketing problem and the market price was too low.

“Upon enrolling with the Department of International Trade Promotion [DITP], we were taught how to improve the products as well as building brand and creating markets. The DITP also helped us take our products to international fairs in Japan, South Korea and France.

“After the fairs and improved marketing, we were able to raise the value of our mats, which used to be sold for just 100 to 200 baht, and further develop them into more than 100 other products.

“Now we have been contacted by many interested foreign clients. Initially, we did not know export and international shipping procedures, but DITP helped provide us information and support in the documentation process.

“Our small community enterprise was able to develop products and create a strong brand image, which has been registered as a community product. We have not just entered the international market, but most importantly, we have created sustainable income for people in the community,” said Manatpong.