Sarawak to develop 10,000ha of commercial bamboo plantations by 2030, says Abang Jo

STIDC general manager Zainal Abidin Abdullah (second left) and Rich Venture Plantation director Hii Wei Wen (right) exchanging the MOU documents, witnessed by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (second right). - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak plans to develop 10,000ha of commercial bamboo plantations and 1,640ha of community plantations by 2030, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier said this would ensure the sustainability of the bamboo industry under the state's post-Covid-19 development strategy.

"To date, 2,760ha of commercial and 59ha of community plantations have been planted throughout the state.

"With this strategy, I am confident Sarawak can become a renowned bamboo hub," he said on Wednesday (Aug 2).

Abang Johari was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding here between the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and Rich Venture Plantation Sdn Bhd on establishing a commercial bamboo plantation.

He said the development of bamboo was also part of Sarawak’s efforts to diversify its timber sources and the downstream timber industry.

"Bamboo is a renewable resource which can be processed into high-value products.

"Among others, it can be used as raw material for furniture," he said.

STIDC general manager Zainal Abidin Abdullah said the MOU would pave the way for exploring the processing of commercial bamboo into high-value products, particularly biomass, charcoal and food packaging.

"I believe this MoU will enhance the exchange of ideas between STIDC and Rich Venture Plantation.

"I am sure we will be able to create synergy and spark innovative ideas, sowing the seeds that one day will bring forth long-term benefits to both parties," he said.

Rich Venture Plantation director Hii Wei Wen said bamboo had grown to become a USD72bil industry with a compound annual growth rate of 8%.

"This shows us that bamboo farming is viable and has a promising future for Sarawak due to its growing global demand," he said.

Under the MOU, STIDC will provide technical consultation and bamboo seedlings to Rich Venture Plantation.

Rich Venture Plantation Sdn Bhd will provide a suitable site for planting bamboo, related facilities and labour.

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