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08.12.2005 Business & Finance

Programme to develop bamboo groves in Volta Region takes off

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Sokode-Gbogame (V/R), Dec. 8, GNA - An integrated programme to sensitise selected groups of people on ways of sustaining bamboo natural groves in the Volta Region has begun at Sokode-Gbogame near Ho. Under the programme being organized by the Bamboo and Rattan Development Programme (BARADEP) of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, participants would later be trained on the production of items from bamboo for both the local and export market.

Mrs Gifty Ohui Allotey, Administrator of BARADEP, said with good management of bamboo plants and the transfer of artful skills, the bamboo could replace timber as wood in the manufacture of furniture among other things.

She said the strategy was to train community members on how to grow and sustain bamboo plants before introducing them to manufacturing bamboo products.

Mrs Allotey said the Chinese experience was proof that bamboo could be used for the manufacture of many more things than timber. Besides, she said while timber could be harvested only once a bamboo stand could be exploited every five years. Fifty Participants drawn from the Sokode communities are attending the three months training programme, which was arranged by the Alternative Trade Network (ALTRANET) - Ho based nongovernmental organisation - that works in the area of improving economic capacities of rural and marginalised groups.

Mr Dan Ofori, a Resource Person, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the programme could help to raise incomes in areas where bamboo thrived as happened in Akyiawkrom, in the Ashanti Region, where the group after training was turned into a viable production unit.

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