The City Government of San Fernando, through the Office of the City Agriculturist and in partnership with the Office of the City Administrator, City Planning and Development and City ENRO, initiated the Bamboo Arts and Handicrafts Lecture and Forum with the objective of strengthening the city’s new OTOP, the KAWAYAN.
On April 3, 2013, a whole day forum and lecture was conducted at the People’s Hall showcasing the bamboo’s arts, handicrafts and furniture making.
A total of 87 participants from the members of Pacpaco Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Saoay farmers, Abut Bamboo weavers, Bato farmers, Namtutan farmers, City Agriculture and Fisheries Council (CAFC), CSF Rural Improvement Club (RIC) Federation participated in the said activity.
Mr. Romualdo Sta. Ana, being the city’s consultant for Bamboo Industry Development, closely working with the city, was the resource speaker during the forum. He is also the president of BAMBUsaPINAS, an International Consultant and Chairman on Bamboo Committee for Philippine Chamber for Agriculture and Food, Inc.
The forum focused on why it has chosen bamboo and its stand for rehabilitation and its role in the sustainable of environmental protection and livelihood.
“Bamboos are excellent for rejuvenating degraded lands and protection against soil erosion, landslides and slippage. Its massive root system helps control soil erosion and surface run off in fragile riverbanks,” said Sta. Ana With bamboos role in livelihood, there are 1, 500 recorded uses of bamboo. It can be a major sustainable resource for poverty alleviation and economic development and all its part can be use in rural livelihood.
With its rapid growth in the export market, having estimated a $12Billion in 2003 and with an annual growth of $2B on the World Trade on bamboo, Mr. Sta. Ana emphasized that we should establish the value chain to enhance competitiveness. Through the partnership of bamboo farmers and primary processing factories; linkage between the primary processor and manufacturers/exporters of construction materials, thus, the City Government of San Fernando shall establish a bamboo primary processing center that only involves cutting of bamboo poles into its desirable sizes or lengths before it will be processed into handicrafts, fly boards, etc.
Sta. Ana also mentioned that there is greater income of 70% in bamboo shoots rather than bamboo poles for handicrafts which is only 30%. In the city, having its own seaport and airport is an advantage, since it is near China and Japan, who needs a big demand for bamboo shoot. Giant bamboo is best suited specie to be use for bamboo shoot and other bamboo by-product.
In the rehabilitation of unmanaged bamboo stands, the process includes cleaning, thinning, fertilizing, covering with soil and mulching. In between bamboos, spacing should be at least 1 foot and for every clump, there should be a maximum of 18 poles. This will improve their productivity thus ensuring a stable supply of bamboo and immediate and suitable livelihood for the farmers.
The Bamboo Industry Development Project is one of the priority projects under the Performance Governance Scoreboard (PGS) Strategic Initiatives of the city. (Myla B. Madrid)