The Philippine Star - December 27, 2003

500-Hectare Bamboo Farm to Rise in Aurora
By Mike Frialde

The largest commercial bamboo plantation in the country will soon rise in Aurora, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Elisea Gozun said yesterday.

Gozun said her department recently approved the project of the Filipino-owned Industries Development Corp. (IDC) to establish a 500-hectare plantation in Aurora that will produce quality bamboo material using bayog and kawayang tinik as principal species.

The plantation will have an initial capital of P15 million and will operate over a period of 25 years, she said.

Under a memorandum of agreement signed by Gozun and Joselito Ong of the IDC, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through its Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, will provide technology support and expertise.

The bureau has been studying ways to improve the quality of local bamboo species in order to meet export standards for bamboo handicraft and furniture.

The IDC, Gozun said, holds two integrated forest management agreements granted in 1984 and 2001 for 9,466 hectares in Aurora and another 48,877 hectares in Quirino, respectively.

Under the Science and Technology Agenda for National Development in 2000, bamboo furniture was identified as an export winner, Gozun said.

Government statistics show that 79,790 pieces of bamboo furniture worth $3.34 million were exported to the United States, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Spain last year.

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