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Struggling Pottery Business Cries For Govt Support   
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The Managing Director of Matamiss Pottery, Madam Matilda Amissah, has called for increased support to the art pottery business to help revive its fortunes and rake in revenues for the country.

Madam Amissah bemoaned the collapse pottery companies such as Ceramic Tamakloe and Unique Ceramics, which she said was a result of lack support.

The companies were into the export of handicrafts and earthenware in the early 2000s but folded up due to daunting challenges, ranging from cost of production to lack of funds.
This is in spite of potential that exits for their products, the MD of Matamiss said.

“This industry has generated lots of foreign exchange for the country and can do more if the government put in place good measures to cushion the sector,” she noted in an interview.

International market

Pottery comprises pots and other home and office materials made from earthenware. They are normally in high demand in the western world, where most people use them for décor and flowering activities.

This has created greater a bigger demand on the international scene, which the country needs to take advantage of, Madam Amissah said.

Generally, she said most international buyers preferred to buy ceramics from the country due to their quality and durability.
This, she said needed to capitalised on through strategic government support to people in the sector.

Production cost

Touching on the challenges facing her operations, Madam Amissah said the current increase in the prices of electricity had a real knock-off effect on her cost of production.

The increment, she said eroded her earnings, forcing her to layoff some of the workers.
Again, she said, clay which is an essential material in the production of the ceramics is now very expensive.

“As of last year, 2015, an axel of clay was selling at GH¢6,000 and I can tell by the current petroleum increment that it will shot up again,” she said.
Beyond that, she said the current introduction of new charges by the Museums and Monuments Board has raised their cost of production.

Way forward

To help resuscitate the business, Madam Amissah said government needed to introduce strategies that will lure more buyers into the country.

Similar to what pertains in Kenya and South Africa, she said the government could opt to pay for the plane tickets of international wishing to come and buy ceramics in the country.

“By so doing, the buyer even spends more buying compared to the amount the government spent on to bring him into the country,” she said.

She also advised that whenever international fairs are being attended the government delegation should be reduced since the money spent on those government officials could be used to finance exporters to go and exhibit at the fairs.
Source: Daily Graphic

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