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13.09.2005 Business & Finance

Bamboo, a good substitute for wood timber - Expert

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Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - Ghanaians should embrace bamboo and rattan as substitutes to timber as the nation's forest resources continue to deplete at an alarming rate.

Mrs Gifty Ohui Allotey, Programme Administrator, Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme, in an interview with the GNA on Tuesday said bamboo could effectively replace wood since it had been found to be the fastest growing plant that could be a substitute to timber. "It could be used for almost all the wood needs of the nation including furniture, construction work, furnishings for buildings such as flooring and ceilings as well as handicrafts and household items," she said.

She said irrespective of the Government's reforestation programmes, bamboo held more prospects since it had a lesser gestation period of five years compared to timber, which had a gestation period of at least 20 years.

Mrs Allotey called for a collaborative effort by all stakeholders in the formulation of appropriate strategies of bamboo preservation as an alternative to timber, which was now in high demand and could no longer solely satisfy the growing market demand. She noted that much education and awareness on benefits of the bamboo had yielded fruits.

This is evidenced in the current widespread use of bamboo products like sitting and dinning room chairs, bed and other decorations by artisans.

However, the need to move into broader production was important to feed future factories, she said.

Mrs Allotey said efforts were being made to ensure that bamboo and rattan production and development became a viable venture to ensure wealth creation for the youth.

She called for the formulation of an appropriate policy on bamboo preservation to regulate activities of the industry and ensure its growth.

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