To help handicraft entrepreneurs in the cottage industry, a team of experts from the University Malaysia Pahang developed a mengkuang leave cutting machine.
In 2015, Dr. Ahmad Fitri Yusop explained that all his team member had set out to the task to handle the issue confronted by mengkuang weavers. Dr. Ahmad Fitri Yusop is a Faculty of Mechanical Engineering senior teacher.
Along with Dr. Ahmad Fitri Yusop, Dr. Daing Mohamad Nafiz Daing Idris, Dr. Mohd Adnin Hamidi as well as an undergraduate from the engineering faculty, Ahmad Fitri, Mohamad Izuan Izzudin accomplished this project at some point early this year.
A Dr. Ahmad and his team got the idea in Sabah in the wake of meeting with a gathering of mengkuang weavers, they were experiencing difficulty cutting the prickly takes off.
Dr. Ahmad said, “We felt that a machine that is able to process the leaves will encourage more people especially those in the rural areas to participate in the mengkuang weaving industry. In order to process the mengkuang, the thorns will have to be removed and doing it manually can be time consuming and painful”.
Further Dr. Ahmad added, “After series of trial and error, we came up with the cutting machine made from high-quality aluminum. It is also equipped with a blade and has an electric motor. Based on the feedback from mengkuang operators, the machine helps to shorten the leaf-cutting process”.
Mr. Ahmad stated that the machine’s model is as of now being used by administrators close Tasik Chini here who are effectively engaged with delivering crafted works from mengkuang leaves.
Dr. Ahmad Fitri Yusop said, “Our team is currently in the second stage to provide some improvements including making the machine more cost-efficient. Since mengkuang weaving, once a leisurely pastime, is now a thriving cottage industry, we hope to promote the product to various parts of the country and also go international”.