SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique -- Farmers in the province of Antique are encouraged to plant bamboos because of its vast potential, even in the world market.
Architect Joy Martinez Onozawa, the resource person in the Bamboo Investment Forum held at the Adelaide Inn here Friday, said bamboo has many uses. It could be turned into furniture, house, and it is even good for reinforcement.
“The three- to four-year-old bamboo has a strength like that of narra,” Onozawa said.
She said that it only takes commitment from the farmers to have it properly treated to prevent pest attack.
Antique Board Member Rosie Dimamay, chairperson of the Provincial Board Committee on Trade and Industry, said bamboo is abundant in the province but is often being taken for granted.
She cited the northern towns of Tibiao, Barbaza and Culasi as areas where bamboos thrive.
“With the Investment Forum, this will open an industry for the farmers, sugar migrants and laborers for they could learn the bamboo technology and its being an important economic resource,” she said.
Ma. Arlene J. Galopo of the Department of Trade and Industry - Antique said an Investment Forum was initiated so farmers would be able to look into the viability of the bamboo industry in the province.
“The DTI would like to boost the interest of the farmers in planting bamboos,” she said.
As of now, Galopo said the farmers only plant bamboo during off season when they are not tilling their rice lands and that they only supply their produce in the local market as bamboo benches, tables or beds.
Galopo added that there are 54 farmers and two associations engaged in bamboo production in the province. There are also 79,017 estimated bamboo hills in the different towns.
The forum was realized through the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines that could help link the bamboo farmers to the market. (PNA)