UPGRADING handicraft skills of women in Macuata is an area of priority as stakeholders work towards tapping hidden talents.
Sipiriano Nemani from the National Heritage Culture and Art said the upgrading of handicraft skills would cover women's groups in villages, settlements and town areas.
In the Northern Division, a team from the iTaukei Institute of Language, Fiji Arts Council, Labasa Multi Cultural Centre and Mr Nemani's group has visited women in the community to see the progress of a kuta (iTaukei mat) project.
Mr Nemani said it was important that the handicraft work sold to the market was unqiue with outstanding designs.
He said the training in the community would include women sharing knowledge and handicraft skills.
"We may even blend in the different cultural designs of the different ethnic groups and have one common design to identify Macuata using the kuta.
"It is important that these women share knowledge and views of handicraft work so we can market attractive designs in the market," Mr Nemani said.
One of the community training was held in Qalewaqa area, outside Labasa Town where women from different groups were taught to do screen painting.
Mr Nemani said such screen painting may be new to some women warranting the need to share knowledge and ideas.
The team on tour also met with potential marketing agents in Labasa this week to discuss possibilities of marketing the women's handicraft work from the north.
Mr Nemani said while marketing handicraft work remained a challenge, women should not be discouraged from learning new skills and selling them to locals.