Premier: Sarawak targets 11,640 ha of bamboo plantation for supply resource sustainability

Posted on 02 Aug 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (centres) witnesses the exchange of the MoU between Zainal (third left) and Wei Wen. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (Aug 2): The Sarawak government is targeting around 10,000 hectares of commercial bamboo plantations and 1,640 hectares of community plantations to be developed in the state, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this is to cover the sustainability of the supply of resources for Sarawak’s bamboo industry.

“I understand that so far, a total of 2,760 hectares of commercial bamboo plantations and 59 hectares of community plantations have been developed throughout Sarawak.

“With this strategy, I am confident that Sarawak will be able to become a successful bamboo industry development hub in Malaysia,” he said at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony for the establishment of commercial bamboo plantation between Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and Rich Venture Plantation Sdn Bhd here today.

He said Sarawak is very fortunate to have an ecosystem that enabled bamboos to thrive and as such, the state would need to have a proper masterplan to identify areas to plant the bamboos.

He likened the bamboo to sago palm which are easy to grow, and therefore the state could capitalise on this renewable source of raw material to complement other resources such as timber to generate income.

“Bamboo is like sago where the moment you start planting, it will grow by itself naturally.

“So if we plant a lot of them, they will multiply quickly and they can be used as raw material for us to manufacture or create downstream products,” he said.

Abang Johari also stressed on the importance of research and called on STIDC and its partners to conduct regular studies so that this can pave the way to drive new innovation to the state.

“For instance, based on my observation, if you compare bamboo with sugarcane, they are more or less the same. But perhaps if the bamboo was not hollow, it might have a higher moisture content.

“This might become another product for us to explore and do research,” he said.

The Premier later witnessed the signing of the MoU which saw STIDC general manager Zainal Abidin Abdullah signing on behalf of STIDC while Rich Venture Plantation was represented by its director Hii Wei Wen.

Also present were Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh and Rich Venture Plantation managing director Dato Hii King Chiong.