BANTING: The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry will establish a one-stop information and reference centre for the country’s bamboo industry entrepreneurs here, which is also part of its effort to strengthen the high value-add downstream bamboo industry.

Its minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the Bamboo One-Stop Centre, to be developed next month at Tadom Hill Resorts, Banting, at a cost of about RM2 million, would also function as a local information centre, including for bamboo industry-related promotion, research and development.

“We chose Tadom Hill Resorts as the model because the area already has some foundation, which makes it easy for us to develop and later expand (the model) to other places as requested by Pahang’s bamboo entrepreneurs,” she told reporters after witnessing the memorandum of understanding for the Bamboo One-Stop Centre development involving the Malaysian Timber Industry Board, Malaysian Timber Council, and Tadom Hill Resort Sdn Bhd.

Tadom Hill Resorts is a unique bamboo-inspired ecotourism resort spanning 18.2 hectares which has also taken steps to produce commercial bamboo products such as bamboo vinegar and bio-char.

Zuraida said Malaysia, which has more than 70 species of bamboo, had so far exported bamboo products worth only RM8.2 million as local market demand could not be fully met.

She said there had been so far 577 enterprises directly involved in bamboo-related industries in Malaysia comprising bamboo plywood, furniture, construction, textile, plantation, food, bio-char and handicraft industries.

“At the ministry level, we have allocated RM1.2 million to encourage more Bumiputeras to set up businesses in the bamboo industry, including providing RM10,000 aid for every hectare of bamboo cultivation and giving away seeds and seedlings,” she added. - Bernama

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