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Myanmar to promote bamboo production industry in the country


World Bamboo day was celebrated for the second time in Myanmar on Monday 18th September. Myanmar is a bamboo-rich country, its bamboo forests are third largest in the world next to China and India. 

According to the Department of Forestry, bamboo production stood at 63.2 million sticks. There are 100 varieties of bamboo in Myanmar and out of those 18 are fit for the commercial purposes.
Myanmar government plans to strengthen and develop bamboo industry by exploring the socio-economic and environmental benefits of bamboo and exploring the uses of bamboo as an alternative to wood.
Myanmar “is a country that has many acres of bamboo, but the revenue obtained from it is very little when compared to neighbouring countries such as China and India,” Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win said at the World Bamboo Day celebration on Monday. “China earned about US$3.6 billion in 2015 from producing bamboo, while Thailand earned over $40 million solely from bamboo shoots,” and “Myanmar only earned $500,000 from bamboo production according to the records from Customs Department,” he said. “So, bamboo products of international quality need to be manufactured, and efforts must be taken to ensure that the raw bamboo is continuously cultivated,” he added. 

According to Mr U Kyaw Thu, chairman of the Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Association, Myanmar is behind in bamboo trade due to the less private ownership of bamboo forests and unsystematic cutting of bamboo and burning of bamboo forests to be planted with cash crops. “Bamboo is carefully planted in other countries and markets are created. Also, it is an important product and vital for the natural environment,” he said. 
Main Bamboo rich areas of Myanmar are Bago Region, Rakhine State, Thanintharyi Region, Kachin State and Ayeyarwaddy Region. Bago and the Rakhine have the largest concentration of bamboo forests. However, the forests are declining in these two regions.

Myanmar also recently completed the China-Myanmar Friendship Forest Ecological Project on August 31, At its completion ceremony Minister Win said that the Myanmar has planned to promote bamboo production industry in the country in cooperation with China.
Myanmar will promote bamboo industry and enhance scientific research & development with the help of China, thus reducing the deforestation and dependence on timber and sustainable management of country's forests.

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