Bamboo hailed as high-value crop
(The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary William Dar sees bamboo as a high-value crop.

Dar said the Department of Agriculture was prioritizing the production of bamboo that would lead to investments and job creation.

 “We need to bring together efforts in sustaining and making the environment resilient, while at the same time enhancing the economic activities of the sector,” Dar said during a meeting of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC) Thursday.

 “With bamboo as a high-value crop, we can undertake various interventions that include research, processing and value-adding, and budgetary support, complementing the programs and projects of the PBIDC,” he added.

DA has lined up several activities to support the advancement of the bamboo industry.

Present during the meeting were Trade and Industry Secretary and PBIDC chair Ramon Lopez, and PBIDC vice-chair and House deputy speaker Ilocos Sur Rep. DV Savellano.

They shared respective updates on the guidelines on the development of commercial bamboo plantation areas and the formulation of technical working groups for bamboo production and marketing.

Dar said DA’s new agri-industrial strategy is not only aimed at enhancing farm productivity, but developing more value-added products as well so that farmers and their families are provided with more business and employment opportunities, and thus earn more income.

“We need to tap the power of technology to mass propagate bamboo. It would be good if the PBIDC can look at opportunities in providing funding support for bamboo tissue culture to address the lack of planting materials needed to rejuvenate the country’s bamboo industry,” Dar said.

He also cited the importance of inviting more Filipino and foreign investors to set up tissue culture facilities and engage in bamboo production and processing.

“Let’s not concentrate on doing it within the government only. If there is a business opportunity, and tissue culture could be one business opportunity for bamboo, then let’s pursue this,” he said.

“The new strategy is to bring in the private sector and partner with communities and farmers’ groups so that we can elevate the business and income opportunities for the Philippine bamboo industry,” Dar pointed out.

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