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KUCHING: Sarawak is embarking on commercial bamboo plantation projects in efforts to support the development of various bamboo-related industries.
The target is to plant at least 20,000ha of bamboo for industrial purposes to generate RM200mil in export earnings by 2030, according to Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp (STIDC) general manager Datuk Hashim Bojet.
“By 2030, Sarawak aims to have various bamboo-based industries to produce charcoal, pharmaceutical, co *** etic, textile, pulp and paper, food, handicraft and engineered bamboo products such as bamboo ply, strand woven bamboo and glued-laminated bamboo,” he said in the latest edition of Perkasa, a quarterly newsletter of STIDC.
The Sarawak Bamboo Industry Development Masterplan 2020-2030 has outlined eight strategic directions to pave the way for SBID steering committee headed by State Assistant Minister for urban planning, land administration and environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh to develop commercial bamboo plantations statewide.
The targeted establishment of at least 1,000ha of bamboo plantations will be carried out via collaboration with the licensed planted forest (LPF) holders and native customary right (NCR) landowners.
The state authorities has approved 43 LPF licences with gross area of 2.3 million ha for forest plantation projects.
About 520,000ha have been planted with fast-growing commercial timber species like acacia mangium. Some of the licenced areas have also been cultivated with oil palm trees.,
There are huge tracts of NCR land, which are left idle or underdeveloped. Besides, the state’s target is also to create at least 200 bamboo community projects involving *** allholders.
To boost large-scale bamboo planting, STIDC will set up a bamboo nursery in Tanjung Manis in Mukah Division in central Sarawak, with the production of 500,000 seedlings a year.
“The state government is encouraging bamboo planting to complement timber and to generate income.
“The global market value of bamboo accounted for US$68.8bil (RM306.3bil) in 2019. Malaysia recorded RM9mil (RM40.07mil) in export earnings from bamboo in 2020.
“The global market value of bamboo was projected at US$98bil (RM436.3bil) by 2025,” said Hashim
STIDC was entrusted by the Sarawak government to spearhead the development of the bamboo industry five years ago. The bamboo industry is vital to the state’s socio-economy as it attracts investors and creates business as well as employment opportunities.
Hashim, who is also Perkasa chief editor, said bamboo is fast growing and matures in three to five years.
It is a renewable source of raw materials and has a life cycle of 50 to 80 years, he said, adding that bamboo shoot is also a source of food popular among villagers.