THE Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, has said that the Ministry will soon institute measures to regu-late the indiscriminate and wasteful exploitation of bamboo and rattan in the country.
He said contrary to the publicly held view that bamboo products were of inferior quality, they are much stronger than the traditionally known wood species such as Odum , Mahogany and Sapele, when properly treated.
He, therefore, appealed to the public to consider the use of bamboo and rattan as substitutes for timber to reduce the pressure on these primary species.
“The properties in the bamboo plant makes it durable for the construction and furniture industry,” he stated.
Mr Adjei-Yeboah, also Member of Parliament for Tano South, stated this last Thursday at a two-day workshop on engineered bamboo boards for furniture houses in Accra and organised by the Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme (BARADEP).
He said the importance of bamboo and rattan in the development of national economies cannot be underestimated, adding that China for instance, has used bamboo in several ways to generate income for local dwellers and with their aboundance in the system the country has the potential to do same in its own small way.”
Mr. Adjei-Yeboah said since bamboo grows faster and can mature within five years, as compared to other timber species, it can become a very good substitute for timber products.
“Utilising bamboo will reduce the pressure on existing forests and reduce the pressure on other timber species, most of which are now threatened,” he said.
He said, however, that in spite of its numerous benefits “people destroy bamboo stands with fire for the purposes of farming”.
The Minister called on traditional authorities and community leaders “who have natural bamboo and rattan resources to institute measures to conserve them.”
The Managing Director of Pioneer Bamboo Processing Limited, Mr Agbolosor Mensah, entreated the participants to take the training seriously as the sector has the potential of becoming a gold mine in the future.
He said apart from serving as a source of income, the bamboo and rattan industry would create jobs for the youth in the country and called on the government to help the sector reap its full potential.