MPKs see good sales at expo

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

VILLAGE Consultative Councils (MPKs) offering their products at the ‘Flavours of BIMP-EAGA: Culture and Food Expo’ saw brisk sales and even interest from regional entrepreneurs, but some MPKs wonder if they can meet the demand.

A number of MPKs were chosen to take part in the four-day exhibition, which came to a close yesterday. They showcased and sold items produced by their villages under the ‘One Village, One Product’ (OVOP) initiative alongside entrepreneurs from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Rokiah Hj Matzin, deputy product manager of MPK Kg Masjid Lama, Pekan Muara, Sabun and Pelumpong, said they had received an invitation from Indonesia to participate in an expo and another proposal to supply their products to the Philippines.

“They said they were very impressed with our products, especially our prawn crackers. But this is still all up for discussion with the other members of the MPK, including the supplying,” she said.

She said they had managed to sell at least 100 packets of their crackers daily during the course of the expo - more than what they usually sell.

“The question remains as to whether we would be capable of supplying our products,” said a member of the MPK, Hj Ahmad Hj Ibrahim, who said they felt proud to have received such interest from regional entrepreneurs.

Runa Bagol, chief project coordinator of the Women’s Bureau of Temburong’s MPK Rataie, said the regional entrepreneurs that took part in the expo were impressed with the products they were offering, including the woven bags and wajid.

“They were impressed and surprised that our bags, which they said were of top quality, were made by the elderly,” she said.

Runa said Temburong products are especially sought after by the public, and their MPK’s participation in the expo has renewed their drive to further improve.

“We’ve gained much more exposure. The Indonesians were very impressed. They enjoyed tasting our products and were intrigued with the way we create them, especially since each product is linked to our cultural traditions.”

However, she said there’s still room for improvement should they want to take their products to a regional level, especially in terms of packaging and marketing.

Hjh Dang Damit Arsat, secretary of MPK Kapok, said they had received a positive response from both locals and the regional entrepreneurs, noting that they had a number of repeat buyers for their flavoured banana chips.

“They’ve seen banana chips before and they liked the idea of the different flavours. They praised our product for its taste and also advised us to make new flavours,” she said, adding that the entrepreneurs were intrigued with the OVOP initiative.

Alhamdulillah, we will take their advice and continue our efforts to improve.”

The Brunei Times