The Real North Tourism Market Connectivity Attempt Mullaitivu District
Hidden destinations remain within the Real Mullaitivu, yet to be touched by exploring travellers. The beautiful beaches, fishing villages and the emerging friendly social communities are some areas that reflect the beauty of the Real Mullaitivu where industries such as cashew estates boom in prosperity. Even though the population is less, the extent of land is vast and is covered in lush forest land.
A successful pilot project is the ladder to a sustainable approach driven with more confidence and clarity. EFECS is a pilot started in 2019 to connect all actors in the Tourism Value Chain as a trisectoral collaboration which connected Government Sector, Private Sector as well as the Community Sector linked as women societies and cooperative societies. Among the sample community segments identified from the Province, Traditional Clothing and Cashew Value Additions are two unique segments from Mullaitivu. The identified communities were given an extensive capacity building in Business Planning, Financing, Technical Improvements and Marketing. They were further connected with the market by establishing 25 Real North Product Stores in leading hotels and tourism information centres. In order to connect these societies with the markets as well as to award them with the certificates, a special stakeholders meeting was organised by Northern Province Tourism Bureau on 13, October 2021 at 10.00 am in the Auditorium of District Secretariat, Mullaitivu. All private and public sector stakeholders including hoteliers and cooperatives as well as the senior officials of the district participated for the event.
The meeting was Chaired by Mr. Vimalanathan, District Secretary, Mullaitivu and moderated by Mr.Stanley Mascarenhas, Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau.
“The project approach was based on an identified pilot area from each district, Mulliyawalai was one of those villages identified with so much of potentials for tourism. Cashew Industry as well as Handlooms were identified as two models from that area. With the good lessons learnt from this we will be able to take this model into other villages also” Said Mr. Mascarenhas, Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau making the welcome address of the event.
Ms. Abeynayake, Former Tourism Value Chain Officer of EFECS presented the systematic process of developing a Tourism Value Chain Approach for a destination with the engagement of the Private, Public and Community. The complete cross-section of the pilot programme was presented for the understanding and future benefit of the stakeholders.
She expressed her warmest gratitude for the District Secretary, Additional District Secretary, Director Planning and Officials from the Department of Industries and Assistant Cooperative Commissioner of the Mullaitivu those who were supported to conduct the pilot effectively. She further thanked Mr. Kunasingam, President of Kadda Vinayagar TCCS of Mullaitivu as well as the representatives from Kadda Vinayagar Handlooms and VVR Cashew for cooperating with the project through out the years. The assistance given by all the trainers from SANSA Campus, Singer Fashion Academy, Palmyra Research Institute, Export Development Board was sincerely appreciated by Ms. Abeynayake.
“I’m grateful for all the communities in the Mullaitivu District for assisting myself as well as for our team Mr. Viswanathan Sinthujan and Mr. Kulendran Hershanth as well as Ms. S. Karthika, Ms. T. Saageny and Ms. Vibeeshana from EFECS project which was funded by the Global Affairs of Canada jointly implemented by Développement International Desjardins (DID) of Canada and SANASA International Pvt (Ltd) of Sri Lanka under the guidance of Northern Province Tourism Bureau.” Stated by Ms. Abeynayake ending her presentation.
All empowered societies were given an attractive brand logo, slogan as well as a brochure to market their products. Specially a set of attractive brand labels to tag with their products were given. The initial copies of the brochures were presented to the government stakeholders by the Former Value Chain Officer (EFECS Project), Ms. Harshi Abeynayake.
Representative from Assistant Cooperative Commissioner’s Office, Mullaitivu
The Mullaitivu District situated in the Eastern part of the Northern Province, is a magnificent piece of land with an alluring natural beauty. The Mulliyawalai village is a countryside rich with various handicrafts and agriculture.
Cooperative movement of Northern Province provides living examples for a successful community collaboration. EFECS Project conducted various capacity building programmes for the employees of this society through recognised institutes such as Singer Fashion Academy and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing. Mulliyawalai Handloom Society was identified as one of the community-based societies to empower through the project. It was started in 1960 and was registered under the Department of Cooperatives. This is a women society, and it provides employment for a number of women in the Mulliyawalai and surrounding villages. It is located facing the Kaddavinayagar Temple of Mulliyawalai which is a temple dedicated to one face of God Ganesh. The society is named as Kaddavinayagar Handloom Society because of this.
“The hand-loomed clothes made by the Kadda Vinayagar Society is 100% authentic and each piece is hand made. You will find yourself mesmerized by the vibrant colours and the wonderful designs that combine in harmony in each and every piece of clothing. Whether it’s sarees, sarongs, vetti, curtains, towels, or kurta tops for women, you will have a plethora of magnificent pieces to choose from. While being beautiful, these items are super comfortable so it will be a great addition to your home as well as your wardrobe. Carry a piece of the Real Mullaitivu with you wherever you go or keep it as a reminder of the incredible memories you made during your visit and add colour to your life.”
The promotional materials and labels were handed over to the President, Mulliyawalai Handloom Society by the District Secretary of Mullaitivu at the event. President of Kadda Vinayagar TCCS, Mr.Kunasingham also presented with a set of brochures by Director, Planning of the Mullaitivu District Secretariat.
Based on the guidance given by the Department of Industries in Northern Province, Thunukkai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society or the Pandiyankulam Handlooms was identified to conduct the pilot in Mullaitivu District.
Pandiyankulam is a small village which belongs to the Manthai East DS Division. Thunukkai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society is situated in Pandiyankulam. It was established on the 10th of August 2016. This is a women society which produces sarees, bedsheets, sarongs, towels, and clothing materials. The final products are sold in the local markets in Northern Province. “Compared with the other societies, it was really challenging in empowering this society as the villagers are facing lots of challenges in their day-to-day lifestyles. Specially with the transportation and essential infrastructure, there is a need of assisting this village to promote tourism. Indeed, this is a very beautiful village that has huge potentials in tourism. I hope the Department of Industries as well as the other government entities would give a good hand for this society to come up” stated Ms. Harshi Abeynayake in a post comment.
The hand-loomed clothes made by the Thunukkai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society is completely authentic and each piece of garment is hand made. The beautiful symphony of vibrant colours that comes together in each piece will leave you speechless and spellbound. Choose from a profusion of items such as sarees, sarongs, vetti, curtains, towels or kurta tops for women, each item as eye-catching as the next. While being beautiful, these items are extremely comfortable and of the highest quality, making them grand additions to your home as well as your wardrobe. Make Real Mullaitivu a part of you and carry a reminder of the incredible memories you made during your journey of the Real North.
Mr. Dharmeswaran, Development Officer, Department of Industries, Mullaitivu received the set of promotional materials on behalf of the Thunukkai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society by Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau.
A combination of Green and Orange, a beautiful cashew estate is something attracted by the visitors coming from far away countries, even from the other corners of the island. Once the cashew nut is processed and packed it becomes a great amenity for the visitors to taste even to bring home. Understanding the connectivity of these two clusters, VVR Cashew Nuts in Mullaiyawalai was identified as another segment for the pilot programme.
The Mullaitivu District situated in the Eastern part of the Northern Province, is a magnificent piece of land with an alluring natural beauty. The Mulliyawalai village is a countryside rich with various handicrafts and agriculture. The VVR Cashew production plant is located in Mulliyawalai in the Mullaitivu District. It has been operating as a registered company under the name “VVR Industries” since 2017. few women from Mulliyawalai village are working here. The experience they gradually gained in production is seen as the best driving force. The operational processes that make the factory successful are a combination of both machinery and manpower.
There are many vineyards in the village as well as the adjoining villages. The cashew seeds grown here are large in size and have a unique lentil flavour. This attracts large numbers of buyers from outlying districts to the area. Factory purchases the raisin seeds from the gardens near the factory. This is one of the reasons why the products look so delicious. Farmers in the area generally earn a good income from the sale of cashew nuts and groundnuts.
Cashew is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple accessory fruit. It was introduced from Brazil to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It is found that more than half of the cashew population is confined to the dry zone of the country. The dwarf cultivars, growing up to 6 m (20 ft), prove more profitable, with earlier maturity and greater yield. The cashew seed is commonly considered a snack and is eaten on its own, used in recipes, or processed into cashew cheese or cashew butter.
In 2019, four million tons of cashew nuts were produced globally, with Ivory Coast and India as the leading producers. The plant has several other uses as well. The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives that can be used in many applications including lubricants, waterproofing and paint. The cashew apple is a light reddish to yellow fruit, whose pulp and juice can be processed into a sweet, astringent fruit drink or fermented and distilled into liquor. The nuts are consumed as edible snacks and are sold with value-additions ranging from raw, roasted and spiced to fried kernels.
EFECS provided trainings on Business Planning, Bookkeeping, Technical Trainings such as processing and Value Additions, Cultivation and Crop Management for the cashew growers as well as for the processors. An attractive logo and business cards with creative brochure were produced by the project.
The marketing materials were offered to the owner of the VVR Cashew Mr. Rajarathnam by Mr.Dharmeswaran, Development Officer, Department of Industries, Mullaitivu
Giving the prominence for the accommodation sector, selected 25 hotels in the province were given Real North Stores to have the presence of community-based products such as Palmyra, Handlooms. Etc. The Ocean Park Hotel and Sun & Sand Hotels were also given these product stores from Mullaitivu District. Market Connectivity brochure packs were presented to these societies by the Divisional Secretariat Maritimepaththu and Former Value Chain Officer of the EFECS Project.
Mr. K. Vimalanathan, District Secretary / Government Agent of Mullaitivu delivered a fruitful speech for the session. He emphasised that the Tourism is a vast area which has a greater potential to develop a whole community. He explained that Mullaitivu District is rich with natural resources and identifying some key sectors that could be connected with the tourism and conducting this project is highly admirable. He further stated that the attraction map prepared for the district has to be improved with the other attractions that are available in the district in future. He expressed his sincere gratitude for the EFECS Project as well as for the Northern Province Tourism Bureau to implement such effective pilot in North.