JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Local and international investors are collaborating in the development of a factory that will produce paper and other value-added items from the bamboo plant.
  • Chairman of the Bamboo Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ), Robert Rainford, said that the overseas investors are from Guatemala, Canada and China.
  • “We are expecting that very soon, approval will be granted for funding to move the process forward. In a year’s time, we expect to be producing paper products for the Jamaican market,” he said.

Local and international investors are collaborating in the development of a factory that will produce paper and other value-added items from the bamboo plant.

Chairman of the Bamboo Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ), Robert Rainford, said that the overseas investors are from Guatemala, Canada and China.

“We are expecting that very soon, approval will be granted for funding to move the process forward. In a year’s time, we expect to be producing paper products for the Jamaican market,” he said.

Mr. Rainford was addressing a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, where he provided details about projects being undertaken to drive growth in the bamboo industry.

He said that the BIAJ is overseeing a bamboo charcoal factory in Peckham, Clarendon.

The Clarendon Municipal Corporation is also collaborating with the association in developing a pre-processing facility, which will see bamboo being used to produce desks and chairs for schools under a project with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

“We have also been using bamboo to make stretchers for the sports programmes in schools. Some have already been delivered and by the end of November, we will have 1,000 stretchers to be delivered,” Mr. Rainford said.

He noted further that seven acres of mined-out land provided by the Noranda Bauxite Company is being used in Clapham, St. Ann to grow bamboo.

In addition, the association has partnered with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Biotechnology Centre to investigate best practices in the growing of bamboo, and 81 young persons have been trained in bamboo technology to provide additional support to the sector.