Jamaica to Develop Bamboo Factories
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica is planning to facilitate the establishment of bamboo factories across the country, the government announced this week.
The factories are part of a larger bamboo development strategy by Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
“We are in discussions with the Ministry of Local Government to establish a factory under the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) project, with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),” said Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, State Minister in the Ministry.
The first zone would include the areas of Hanover, Westmoreland and St James, with a focus on the production of bamboo board and furniture and bamboo charcoal. The second zone would consist of St Mary, Portland and St Thomas, with factories in those areas producing edible bamboo shoots, bamboo charcoal and preserved bamboo sticks.
A third area would focus on factories producing bamboo sawdust pellets, shipping pallets, yam sticks, and water and air filters.
“Inclusive development with bamboo has provided secured livelihoods for many thousands of rural producers on all continents,” Ffolkes-Abrahams said. “The same can be done for Jamaica. Our vast resource of bamboo and underdeveloped or marginalized lands provide significant potential for economic advancement through job creation and poverty reduction.”
There are around 47,000 hectares of bamboo growing in Jamaica, according to estimates.
The global bamboo industry is worth around $12 billion globally each year.