KUALA LUMPUR: The Bamboo Industry Development Action Plan for 2011-2020, developed by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), will be reviewed based on five strategic thrusts.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said these were the establishment of bamboo plantations and sustainable management of natural resources; human resources and capital development; value-added product development; research and development; and marketing, trade and promotion.
“Under the new policy, the use of bamboo will be diversified such as for floor installation. Furthermore, it will get a positive response from the United States and Japan for products such as baskets, chopsticks, toothpicks, satay skewers, bamboo lemang (glutinous rice), and kites. Also, bamboo can be made into furniture that are comparable to wooden furniture.
“It is estimated that there are 100 bamboo factories throughout Malaysia and the goods produced have been marketed domestically as well as exported,” she told a media briefing on Thursday in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan government.
According to Kok, the bamboo industry in Malaysia has a very good potential for development if the provision of bamboo can be sustained.
In line with this aspiration, MTIB’s Forest Plantation Development Programme (PPLH) also involved the planting of five approved bamboo species, namely, buluh betung, buluh semantan, buluh beting, buluh beti, and buluh hitam, she said.
Globally, the export value of bamboo stands at $68.8 billion (US$1 =RM 4.13), while Malaysia’s bamboo exports were valued just over RM102,000 last year (2017: RM300,000).
On other commodity sectors, she said pepper, cocoa, kenaf and tobacco were also important commodities so focus was given on their development.
As an example, measures taken to sustain the Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB) include enhancing its functions in the development of the pepper industry and the marketing of downstream products, especially in building up the Saraspice brand as a premium product.
“To bolster the marketing effectiveness of pepper products, MPB is in the midst of setting up a subsidiary to undertake the production of various downstream products such as candies, perfume and flavoured sauces,” she said.
As for cocoa, she said her ministry would boost the contribution from the local downstream cocoa industry by identifying strategic measures to achieve the ambition of turning Malaysia into an Asian chocolate hub.
Meanwhile, for the kenaf sector, she said the National Kenaf and Tobacco Board’s operation would continue to be strengthened. This includes improving the operational cost effectiveness by disposing unproductive assets and renting the processing facilities to business people with strong potential in order to expedite the development of the downstream kenaf products. – Bernama