Focus on bamboo industry development

Bamboo forest potential. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry will continue to emphasise on developing the bamboo industry as a game changer programme in the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).

Its minister, Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said even though the global market of bamboo products is valued at about $68 billion ($1=RM4.34) in 2018, Malaysia’s export of the bamboo-based products is still low at about RM9 million in 2019.

“Hence, the bamboo industry has great potential to be developed and cultivated in the country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Mohd Khairuddin said he presented the development status of the country’s bamboo industry and its potential as a new source of growth in the agri-commodity sector at the weekly Cabinet meeting today.

He said actually, bamboo trees are easy to cultivate and look after as the trees have a short maturity period of between three to four years and can be harvested after that.

Currently there are about 100 bamboo entrepreneurs in various categories such as furniture, food, fabrics, handicraft, cutlery, construction and eco-tourism, he added. 

“Under the Forest Farm Development Programme, the ministry, through the Malaysian Timber Industry Board, provides soft loans to encourage the development of bamboo farms,” he said.

He said financing worth RM10,000 per hectare is provided for the development of a small-scale farm (20-40 hectares), medium-scale estate (41–2,499 hectares) and large-scale estate (above 2,500 hectares).

The five species of bamboo identified under the programme are Betung, Semantan, Beting, Beti and Hitam.

To support the development of the bamboo industry, he said the ministry will develop a bamboo culture tissue lab and nursery on a 1.72-hectare site in Lahat, Perak to produce quality seedlings.

The ministry is also preparing a bamboo industry development action plan 2021-2025, which is expected to be announced at year-end, he said.  – Bernama

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