ANGELES CITY-Bamboo products made in Central Luzon will take center stage in the upcoming Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair to be held on October 24 to 26 at the SM Megamall.

Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (Pamcham) president Rene Romero made the announcement Saturday. Romero said the event will showcase the various use of bamboo as effective raw material to crafts and livelihood for farmers in Central Luzon.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Romero said the opportunity to present the bamboo as an emerging industry in Central Luzon would be best showcased in the coming trade fair.

Now on its 12th year, the Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair has proven to be an effective venue to promote the products of the region to institutionalize buyers and exporters based in Metro Manila. "It has become one of the much-awaited trade events of the region's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) because of its significant impact to the operations of their business," Romero added.

The fair is being organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, Pamcham, the Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL), as well as representatives from the furniture sector, crafts and small and medium industries here.

Romero said Bamboo, which is a substitute for timber by the scientific community, is important to socio-economic development and the ecology that is seemingly being neglected. Bamboo reduces carbon sink. It is otherwise known as a "carbon sequester" as a hectare of bamboo plantation sequesters 12 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

As watershed protection, a bamboo plant typically binds six cubic meter of soil. It yields six times more cellulose than the fast growing pine tree. Bamboo has a wide range of uses from shoots to its rhizomes. Shoots are used as food source. The array of items that can be made out of the different parts of the bamboo are bags, lampshade, carvings, charcoal and charcoal production, cosmetics, industrial vinegar, furniture, flooring, curtains, mats, carpets, woven articles, handicrafts, chopsticks, bamboo pole, clothing, brooms, medicines, and juice, among others.

The waste materials can also be used to produce bamboo powder, dust for fuel, charcoal, brick, fiber board, paper, lumber, and clothing. Pamcham Bamboo Project Director Myra Bituin said the booth for the bamboo products will feature a three-part presentation of the evolution of bamboo as a raw material for crafts and industrial use.

The booth will also showcase various local high-end designs for bamboo as conceptualized by participating entities from Central Luzon.

"The aim is to present bamboo products that are high-end and can meet with the standards of the international community," Bituin said, stressing that bamboo is also an effective in mitigating the effects of climate change and in keeping river and water channels more resistant to inundation.

Bituin said they also aim to make local farmers earn from bamboo propagation to augment their income. Bituin added with the steady achievements of the Provincial Bamboo Development Council, bamboo will soon establish itself as a strong industry in Pampanga.

Recently, the Provincial Board has reconstituted its bamboo development council in its bid to fully explore potentials of bamboo processing and utilization technology as an industry and source of livelihood. (Ian Ocampo Flora)