KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says it is targeting the bamboo industry as part of a strategy to enhance sustainable economic growth.
“We are in a haste to return Jamaica to a period of solid growth, and bamboo is one of those things that we have looked at in the quest to produce viable products from the plant, which we have abound,” said State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Norman Dunn.
Speaking during a tour of the Peckham bamboo facility in Clarendon, south of here, Dunn said that a team from the Ministry recently met with all the stakeholders to discuss its potential.
He said that in some countries, the bamboo plant is regarded as “gold”, noting that the pulp “can be translated into a number of products, such as tissue, cloth… just about anything”.
“We want to ensure that we can get the value-added products, and Peckham serves as a very important part of what we want to do. Cannabis and bamboo need to be translated into the true earning potential that this country requires,” he said.
Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, Phillip Henriques, said that the Peckham facility offers “fantastic” potential and “we need to move it where we can see the real benefit in employment and foreign exchange earnings.
“I support this project and will work as hard as I can to move it to the high place it needs to get to,” he added.
The Peckham bamboo project, which got under way in 2015, is being executed by the Clarendon Municipal Corporation (CMC), with oversight and monitoring from the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
It aims to create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities through bamboo cultivation, usage, training and production of bamboo by-products.