The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is working towards establishing a Bamboo Industrial Demonstration Facility.
Funding for the project is to be provided through bilateral partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Jamaica.
State Minister in the Ministry, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn said it is expected that full project approval will be granted by August.
He said the ministry is focused on developing bamboo as a versatile, environmentally friendly commodity with considerable global growth potential.
«The facility will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean. As we work to increase support to the bamboo industry, we have engaged the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to recognise bamboo as an industrial crop under the Agricultural Produce Act,» he informed.
«This will allow for the provision of technical support and extension services for this critical new industrial crop,» Dr. Dunn added.
Jamaica has developed bamboo charcoal and charcoal products, furniture, straws, souvenirs and utensils.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the National Housing Trust (NHT) are partnering on a project to utilise bamboo for construction of affordable housing.
In 2012, Jamaica became the 38th member of the International Organization for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) which now has 48 member states. The BSJ is the local focal point for INBAR, an intergovernmental development organisation that promotes environmentally sustainable development using bamboo and rattan.
INBAR works with countries to focus the use of bamboo and rattan as strategic resources that support sustainable development and their green economy action plans.
LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Information