Bamboo industry must transform, modernise to grow

  • Commodities
  • Tuesday, 18 Sep 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Primary Industries Ministry is urging all parties involved in the growth of the country's bamboo industry to take proactive steps to ensure that transformation and modernisation takes place to grow the sector.

Minister Teresa Kok said this was needed to propel the sector's growth which only recorded RM300,000 in exports last year.

Currently, she said there are more than 100 bamboo processors in Malaysia and most of these are small and medium enterprises.

“Previously, we only made products such as baskets or satay skewers using bamboo. Now, we need to produce higher value products such as furniture, laminated boards, construction materials and innovative novelty products.

“In this context, the innovation and creativity to create high value products must be cultivated,” Kok said when launching the World Bamboo Day 2018 here today.

Also present was Malaysian Timber Industry Board Director-General Datuk Dr Jalaluddin Harun.

According to Kok, modernisation in the bamboo industry must be strategically structured for it to be developed in a more systematic manner.

She said bamboo cultivation in Peninsular Malaysia only amounted to 329,000 hectares and represented 31 per cent of the total acreage compared with Sarawak (45 per cent) and Sabah (24 per cent).

“Therefore, if the growth of bamboo plantations are managed in a sustainable manner, it (bamboo) can be a source of revenue for the country.

“On this matter, the ministry through the Malaysian Timber Industry Board has implemented the Forest Plantation Programme, and bamboo is one of the species identified for development,” she added.

She said the ministry had seen joint venture initiatives by the public-private sectors to develop the bamboo plantation industry.

Malaysia has more than 70 species of bamboo, of which 45 are found in the jungle with a short maturity period of three to five years, compared with trees which needs at least 15 years. - Bernama
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