KUALA LUMPUR: The National Bamboo Industry Development Action Plan 2021-2030 was launched today as a continuation of the 2011-2020 plan to boost Malaysia’s exports of bamboo and bamboo-based products.
The action plan, launched in conjunction with the celebration of the World Bamboo Day (WBD 2021) celebration in Malaysia, would strengthen the country’s exports to China, Indonesia, Thailand and around the world.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said last year, bamboo products’ export value was RM8.28 million, a decline of 10 percent compared to 2019.
“The value recorded was too small in comparison to the size of the global bamboo market,” she said in her speech when officiating the event virtually.
Zuraida said that to ensure the continuous supply of the country’s bamboo resources, her ministry, through the Malaysian Timber Industry Board, would continue to provide soft loans for bamboo cultivation under the Forest Plantation Development Programme (PPLH).
She also said that under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), the Bamboo Community Farming programme will run from the beginning of this year until 2025.
Bamboo is an important non-wood forest product that contributes to export earnings in Malaysia, she said, noting that there are about 70 bamboo species and 45 of them grow naturally in primary and secondary forests.
In terms of cultivation area, 31 per cent of bamboo crops are found in the peninsula with an area of 229,123 hectares, 45 per cent in Sarawak, and 24 per cent in Sabah, she said.
The agro-commodity sector generated export revenue of RM152 billion for the country last year.
The timber industry accounted for RM22.02 billion of export revenue in 2020, a decrease of 2.1 per cent compared to the value of exports recorded in 2019.
The decline was due to the shrinking world demand for wood-based products as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. – Bernama