DAVAO CITY – One of bamboo’s best known qualities is its strength (flexural and tensile), making it a viable material in its natural form and as a component to various furniture, architectural and landscaping designs.

Given its characteristics as a fast growing, natural and extremely strong material, there is heightened interest in using bamboo as a workable material for homes, buildings and other structures.

In a presentation during the Mindanao Bamboo Summit, it was highlighted that bamboos could be utilized in its entirety or parts.

The leaves could be used as extracts, medicines, manure or fodder. Twigs could be transformed into brooms or cloths.

The top can be reproduced into chopsticks, toothpicks, bamboo poles and scaffoldings. The middle upper can be manufactured as blinds, mats, carpets and handicrafts while the middle lower part as flooring. Shoots can be prepared and eaten as a vegetable dish.

Meanwhile, the leftovers are processed as charcoals, fiber boards, lumbers and fuel, among others.

With this usage, leaving no parts to waste, there are a number of bamboo products feasible for business opportunities, therefore creating sustainable investment, livelihood and income to Mindanaoans.

As one of Mindanao Development Authority’s flagship programs, the Bamboo Development Program aims to promote the bamboo industry, creating marketing strategy for bamboo products to boost production and create jobs for those involved in mass production.

According to MinDA partner Mr. Roderico R. Bioco, Chairman of the Bukidnon Giant Bamboo Resources, Corp., the Mindanao Bamboo Program can address various sustainable development goals.

“The Mindanao Bamboo Program aims to address all 17 of 17 sustainable development goals which include no poverty, no hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean energy, good jobs and economic growth, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption, protect the planet, life below water, life on land, peace and justice, and partnerships for the goals,” said Mr. Bioco.

MinDA engaged in various bamboo development activities such as the conduct of the Mindanao Bamboo Expo, business matching , lectures on Bamboo farming, processing and financing, and support to projects on production of bamboo-made local products to provide jobs and income to bamboo farmers.

MinDA handed over equipment and working table to Bamboo workers group as a production start-up.

The Bamboo Expo showcased Mindanao products like furniture, treated and laminated bamboo blocks and panels, huts, bamboo house, cutlery and kitchen tools among others.

The featured bamboo house, which is more resilient to earthquakes than a concrete house and estimated to cost between PhP. 80,000.00 to PhP. 120,000.00, is also promoted in the expo to reach a wider market.

MinDA is also majorly contributory in the development of the bamboo industry and organization of the Mindanao Bamboo Industry Development Council, created to fully utilize the facilities and in the process boost the development of bamboo farming in Mindanao.

As a commonly used product in Mindanao, Bamboo is truly a culturally and economically significant commodity made strongly to sustain livelihood and alleviate lives. #

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