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Sabah bamboo industry has huge potential
Published on: Saturday, July 18, 2020
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Tambunan has the highest bamboo density in Sabah.- Gettyimages
Tambunan has the highest bamboo density in Sabah.- Gettyimages
Kota Kinabalu: Tambunan recorded the highest bamboo density of 62 per cent or 3,200 hectares of the total area of bamboo forest in Sabah, said the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB).

“Among the dominant species recorded are Gigantochloa levis, Bambusa vulgaris, Scizostachyum brachycladum, Schizos-tachyum lima and Dendrocalamus asper,” said MTIB, in a statement.

The potential of the bamboo industry, it said, is huge in Sabah.

“There are 5,200 hectares of bamboo forests in Sabah with the total density covering the districts of Tambunan, Ranau, Keningau, Sipitang and Telupid.”

MTIB will also continue to ensure that various programmes and initiatives related to the bamboo industry development will be enhanced.

“This initiative is important so that the bamboo industry can be developed as one of the agricultural products to generate income and benefit the people and the country,” it said.

To this end, MTIB held the “Malaysian Bamboo Industry Development Action Plan Preparation Workshop (PTPIBM) 2021-2030” here.

The workshop aimed to obtain stakeholders’ feedbacks on the direction of Malaysia’s bamboo industry development for a period of 10 years towards increasing sustainability and productivity to make bamboo a new commodity that can generate the nation’s economy.

“The action plan will replace the existing action plan that will cease by this year.

“The workshop is also a continuation of the first workshop that was held on June 30 in Bangi to complete the bamboo development action plan.”

In general, MTIB said the economic contribution of Malaysia’s bamboo industry is still low where the export value of bamboo products in 2019 was RM9.2 million compared to RM22.5 billion of the total exports of wood-based products.

“Exports of bamboo-based products from January to April, this year, were RM1.5 million compared to RM3.8 million in January to April 2019.

“Bamboo products under the bamboo charcoal category is the main contributor to the export of Malaysian bamboo products in 2019 with a value of RM2.9 million followed by another article of wood from bamboo which is RM2.4 million and plywood with a value of RM1.4 million,” it said.

As such, the use of bamboo in traditional industry, it said, needs to be transformed into value-added products such as composite boards, floorboards, furniture, building materials and biomass products such as charcoal manufacturing.

“MTIB has listed bamboo as one of the forest plantation crops that can be commercialised through the Forest Plantation Development Program (PPLH) along with eight other species of forest plants namely Rubber TLC, Acacia, Kelampayan/Laran, Batai, Jati, Binuang, Khaya and Sentang.

“The bamboo species was listed in PPLH in 2014 with a minimum size of 20 hectares and starting this year, the minimum size for PPLH has been reduced to four hectares.”

The briefing was also attended by MTIB Deputy Director-General (Development and Commercial) Mahpar Atar.



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