IPOH: A nursery, tissue culture laboratory, and advancement in research and development in Lahat near here are expected to produce 100,000 quality bamboo seedlings monthly from the end of this year.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said five bamboo species - Semantan Bamboo, Beting, Beti, Betung and Black Bamboo - which were approved, would be planted at the nursery, which was set up in an initiative to develop the bamboo industry.
“The Malaysian Timber Industry Board has listed bamboo as one of the species in the Forest Plantation Development Programme which offers easy loans to industries keen to venture into the planting of the five species of bamboo, ’’ she said at a media conference in conjunction with a two-day 2019 Malaysia World Bamboo Day celebration here yesterday.
Also present was Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Kok said there were 58 million bamboo clumps covering an area of 329,00 hectares in the country with 15 million clumps in Perak alone.
She also said Malaysia exported RM9.97mil worth of bamboo and bamboo-based products last year mainly to Japan (RM2.15mil), United States (RM1.98mil) and Singapore (RM1.17mil).
‘’Based on its good potential, bamboo-based industry in the country can be expanded through firm co-operation in research, development and commercialisation, standards and human capital developments involving numerous quarters.
‘’It is not impossible, with this collaboration, Malaysia can churn out high value-added bamboo-based products on par with China, Japan and Korea in the related sectors such as textile and construction, ’’ she said.
Ahmad Faizal meanwhile said the high scatterings of bamboo were of the Betong species, with 4.64 million clumps in Perak, which is the highest concentration in the Peninsular.
He said it indicated that Perak had the potential to be developed as a hub for the commercial development of the bamboo plantation industry in the country.
“Bamboo industry could create employment opportunities and expand the economy of the local communities besides generating a new source of income for the state, ” he said. - Bernama