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Projects being undertaken to drive the bamboo industry – Min. Dunn


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December 2020
 

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn (centre), opening the kiln used for producing bamboo charcoal at the Peckham Bamboo Facility. The occasion was a tour of the facility at Peckham, Clarendon on Friday, December 4. Looking on from left are Technical Specialist, Socio-Economic Development, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Charmaine Brimm and Member of Parliament, Clarendon North Western, Hon. Phillip Henriquez.

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 11 Dec 2020    admin   

State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn, says that the Government has undertaken a number of initiatives to drive growth in the bamboo industry, noting that one such initiative is the charcoal factory in Peckham, Clarendon.

According to Minister Dunn, 100,000 lbs. of bamboo charcoal was exported to the United State of America, the Cayman Islands and St. Maarten up to 2019.

Minister Dunn, speaking at a tour of the Peckham Bamboo Facility in Peckham, Clarendon on Friday, December 4, said that the global bamboo industry, which values approximately US$60 billion, is big business, which Jamaica must seek to exploit.

“The bamboo industry is critical in diversifying the county’s manufacturing and agricultural product offerings. Some people see bamboo as a nuisance, but others see it as ‘green gold’ and, therefore, this is something that we need to find the proper use for and, creative ways to maximize on,” he said.

He informed that the government is continuing its efforts to ensure that Jamaica reaps maximum returns from this lucrative industry.

The Minister lauded the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the Peckham community on the work that they have been doing in the bamboo industry over the years. “Peckham serves as an important aspect as to what can be done in the industry,” noted the Minister.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Western, Hon. Phillip Henriquez said that the Peckham project is a great opportunity for this rural community.

“I think we have a fantastic opportunity here in Peckham. We need to move the project from where it is now to a point where we can see the real benefits of employment, foreign exchange earnings, and all the other things that will benefit the country on a whole,” Mr. Henriquez added.

The BSJ and the NHT are now working together on a project to develop bamboo as a means of building affordable houses for Jamaicans.

In 2012 Jamaica became the 38th member of the International Organization for Bamboo Rattan (INBAR). The group now has 42 Government members from all continents of the Globe.

The country has also developed projects for building factories to produce bamboo pulp, paper, packaging materials and textiles as well as for furniture production. In addition, Jamaica has established some 14 prototypes for various bamboo products and by-products, including bamboo charcoal for cooking purposes, charcoal for air filtration, charcoal for water filters, bamboo plywood, bamboo ketchup, bamboo stylus for smartphones, and tablets computers, bamboo student chairs and desks and bamboo stretchers for carrying the sick.

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