Canadian firm to invest $2-M for bamboo venture in Davao Region

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A worker makes a big basket using bamboo splits. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 June) – A Canadian firm is pouring $2 million (P112 million) for a bamboo project in Davao del Norte, which is set to start this year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao revealed Wednesday.

The firm’s processing plant would be established at the Anflo Industrial Estate in Panabo City, while the 10,000-hectare bamboo plantation would be put up in partnership with indigenous communities within their ancestral domain areas in Davao del Norte.

[UPDATE: A previous version of this story named the Canadian firm, as also mentioned by DTI in a report sent to MindaNews. After it was published in the MindaNews website, DTI requested that the name of the firm be removed “to protect the privacy of our investor until the project officially commences.”]

DTI-Davao said in its monthly report that the project would help stir economic activities not only in the province but also in neighboring areas, creating employment opportunities for the local workforce and generating domestic and export sales.

The Canadian firm has claimed to be a “clean-tech manufacturing company with a focus on the environment and food security.” It aims to “create clean technologies that protect and heal the environment while enhancing food production and yields.”

Jenny Grace M. Mendoza, DTI-Davao information officer, said in an interview on Wednesday that bamboo is one of the priority industries in the region, along with coffee, coconut, cacao, wearable and home styles, processed fruits and nuts, rubber, and oil palm.

She said the local industry in Davao del Norte is already thriving with small players producing furnishings and furniture out of bamboo.

Mendoza added that efforts in Davao del Sur are also being undertaken to develop its bamboo industry.

She said that during the Bamboo Summit last April 18 in Digos City, Davao del Sur, industry stakeholders formulated plans and specific interventions that they need “to put the province in the bamboo development map.”

According to a Department of Science and Technology (DOST) briefer, bamboo, which belongs to the family of grasses, is regarded as “one of the most economically significant non-timber forest products globally.”

It is a “high-value crop given its many uses involving food and material for buildings, bridges and furniture, and with its ability to mitigate flood and soil erosion, bamboo has various economic and ecological benefits,” the briefer said.

The agency said the Philippines is 6th among the largest exporters of bamboo in the world.

The estimated total area of bamboo in the Philippines ranges between 39,000 to 53,000 hectares, which can potentially produce an average of 36 million culms annually, according to the DOST.

It added that the “Philippines has been actively producing and processing bamboo products for construction, furniture and handicraft manufacture, food, musical instruments, farm and fishing implements, pulp and paper, and fuel for cooking and heating.” (Antonio Colina IV / MindaNews)

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