Bamboo growers increase as products rebound in markets

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A commercial bamboo plantation.

With bamboo markets rebounding due to both local and overseas orders for bamboo and its handicrafts, interest in bamboo cultivation has increased among farmers, according to U Kyaw Win, a bamboo expert.
Purchases of Wahbo (giant bamboo) from China and other countries increased this year, and some buyers have personally come to the field to procure, he said.
“Bamboo nurseries are now available in many places. Bamboo is becoming rare, and its market has become wider, so many people are interested in growing it. Bamboo seems to be more profitable for farmers compared to other crops. The bamboo market has become wider than before. In the overseas market, Chinese traders want to buy three-foot-long Wahbo bamboo by the millions. They buy as many bamboo strips as we can produce. We export bamboo slats in small quantities to Malaysia and Singapore. There are also many orders for bamboo shoots. The local market is doing well. It was good last year, but this year, we see many buyers in persons in the fields to physically inspect and buy,” he said.
Due to the shortage of bamboo and high transportation costs, bamboo prices are rising this year compared to last year.
“A piece of Kyathaung bamboo (a type used for mats and construction) now costs K1,200, up from K600/700. It is of good quality, but at K1,200, the price has almost doubled. The price of Htiyo bamboo (monastery bamboo) has also increased from K700/800 to K1,600,” he said.
The growing interest in bamboo and bamboo products is an opportunity for innovators in bamboo handicrafts. At the same time, it can also be an advantage for bamboo farmers in the future, he commented. — MT/ZN/ED

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