- Local business persons and members of the scientific research community are being invited to attend the upcoming Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium in November.
Local business persons and members of the scientific research community are being invited to attend the upcoming Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium in November.
Chairman of the symposium’s planning committee, Marie Casserly Rademacher, said the event, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, is a unique opportunity for Jamaica, as the country has the potential to be a “big player” in the bamboo industry on the world stage.
She further noted that it is also an opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from discussions to advance in the industry.
“Bamboo is a tremendous resource, and it helps us to solve what has long been a raw material and an energy problem for Jamaicans, because the value chain is so rich. From the farm to a product and within that value chain, there are several developments and business investment opportunities,” she noted.
Mrs. Casserly Rademacher was addressing a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’.
Bamboo, one of the world’s fastest-growing plants and a rapidly renewable source of fibre, supports value chains across the world worth some US$60 billion. With the considerable bamboo resources in the Caribbean, countries can benefit from reduced poverty, increased international trade and investment, and the restoration of degraded lands, reducing vulnerability to natural disasters.
The symposium, to be held November 27 and 28 under the theme ‘Bamboo: An Economic High Value Chain Resource for the Caribbean’, will host plenary and breakout sessions featuring topics such as how standards can support the industry, bamboo policies and national development plans, bamboo and the sustainable development goals, and financial support for bamboo micro small and medium-sized enterprises.
“This is a very rich programme that is inclusive of players along the value chain – such as farmers, youth, women, rural and urban areas, our designers, engineers, academics, scientists, industrialists and venture capitalists – so everybody comes into this conversation,” Mrs. Casserly Rademacher said.
The symposium will also feature a bamboo field trip on November 29, which will see participants visiting facilities of emerging bamboo businesses.
The symposium is being hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in partnership with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Bamboo Industry Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation.