LUBAO -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in coordination with the Provincial Government of Pampanga and the Municipal Government of Lubao, will launch the Bamboo Negosyo Village in this town.

DTI Regional Director Blesila Lantayona told Sun.Star Pampanga that the project, aimed to provide livelihood to local residents with the use of bamboo as main raw material for crafts, will be launched on July 12 and will highlight the planting of some 3,000 bamboo seedlings in the 37-hectare area of the protective dike of this town.

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The seedlings will serve as a reserve source of bamboo materials for the craft industries and processing station that will be constructed in the town for the processing of bamboo industrial and commercial products.

"The aim is to make a working model for a community based-production of crafts using bamboo. Bamboo will be the source of employment as well as a mitigating agent in the fight against climate change," Lantayona said.

Lantayona said that the bamboo propagation programs presents a lot of benefits to locals here as the raw material is fast gaining popularity both in the industrial and manufacturing sector.

Bamboo is a high-yield renewable resource: "Ply boo" is now being used for wall paneling and floor tiles; bamboo pulp for paper-making; briquettes for fuel, raw material for housing construction; and rebar for reinforced concrete beams. It can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwood, according to data obtained from the Department of Agriculture in Central Luzon.

Among its varied uses are for construction, agriculture/forestry, furniture, interior designs, bamboocraft/gift items, cooking utensils/food containers, garden tools, firewood/charcoal, musical instruments, schools supplies, toys, traditional weapons, among others. It may increasingly replace plastics and wood products.

Another important use for bamboo is food. The shoots are used in many Asian countries as a vegetable - sometimes eaten raw, pickled or boiled.

As a promising industry, she enjoined everyone especially the local government units to support the project.

Making use of the abundance of bamboos not just in domestic market but also for export will advance economic growth of the country at the same time preserve the environment and mitigate the looming effects of climate change, Lantayona added.