Bamboo Shortage Strikes as Demand Rises

Local bamboo enterprises are facing a lack of bamboo for use as a raw material as demand for finished bamboo products has risen locally and abroad.

There are very few local bamboo farms and bamboos produced from those farms are often exported to foreign countries. This is the reason why bamboo raw materials are rare in local market, said U Kyaw Thu, chairman of Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Association.

“Bamboo farming is still unpopular locally. Additionally, some bamboo has been exported illegally through the Myawaddy border. The Ministry of Commerce should resolve this issue,” U Kyaw Thu told Myanmar Business Today.

He urged the Trade Promotion Department to tackle the illegal bamboo trading issue and strictly scrutinise bamboo trading on border routes. By doing this, more bamboo raw materials will be available for local bamboo product enterprises, he added.

Bamboo is exported legally to India, Pakistan, Korea, Singapore and Bangladesh at a price of $0.50 to $0.70 per piece.

“Currently, it is hard to find raw materials to produce bamboo products. Plus, we lack technology. It’s possible to get help from other countries regarding this but the lack of raw materials in the local market makes everything more difficult,” said U Tin Oo, vice chairman of Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneur Association.

Currently, the Association is planning to get technical assistance from the Philippines for production of finished bamboo products, he added.

There are about 200 acres of bamboo farm in Myanmar, mostly in Twante and Kawhmu townships in Yangon.

Myanmar has also been trying to promote its rattan and bamboo products for some time. Locally-made rattan and bamboo furniture are expected to be exhibited in the coming International Furniture Fair in Singapore, the Association said.

“We have participated in this fair previously. We also plan to participate this time. We can have connections and experience from this fair,” said U Kyaw Thu.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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