THE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) has earmarked a total of P7-million fund for Inaul production this year.
Inaul is the traditional hand-woven cloth from Maguindanao province.
Inaul Festival director and assistant department head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office Nulfarid Ampatuan said their current direction is to push for the development of the traditional textile. The fund, he said, is from the region’s Gender and Development (GAD) Fund.
Department of Tourism (DOT)-Armm regional Secretary Ayesha Vanessa Hajar Dilangalen, for her part said, apart from local buyers, they are looking at China, the US, and Europe as markets for Inaul.
The Armm government has received inquiries from interested foreign buyers following a marketing campaign for the first Inaul Festival which was set last February 9 and concluded last Tuesday, February 14.
The recently-concluded festival has generated interest for the intricately-made fabric.
Dilangalen said a road show in China promoting Inaul is being arranged for April or May.
She added that they will consult the Maguindanao weaving community for the production of Inaul on a commercial scale.
A group of women in Buluan, Maguindanao is among those who make the cloth under a livelihood and cultural preservation program of the local government. Two other weaving centers in the province are privately owned.
To preserve the authenticity of producing Inaul, Ampatuan said, the regional government in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry as well as the Department of Science and Technology is gearing up to build five production centers for the weaving machines.
Last month, inaul was highlighted as one of the materials used for gowns worn by Miss Universe candidates during the Mindanao Tapestry fashion show in Davao City.