Under the 10MP, the State Government has allocate a grant of RM4 million for SALCRA to spearhead the research and development on Bamboo and related activities with the view of developing it for commercial purposes. The introduction of Bamboo industry in Sarawak would benefit the state in various areas. Initially, it would broaden the state economic-base through diversification by planting Bamboo. This will bring about other benefits, such as more employment opportunities, better incomes, investment and probably transfer of technology. As such, it can be used as another strategy for poverty eradication in the state.
The growing of Bamboo would help the State Reforestation projects to enhance environmental management in the state. Bamboo can grow very fast as compared to other tree species. With the fast disappearance of hardwood in Sarawak, the planting of Bamboo, a non-timber forest product is capable to substitute for real timber, if well processed.
It would serves as a Bamboo Botanical park, that it can generate public interest for tourism purposes. Besides that, it will be centre for Bamboo Species Collection, which will be useful for students, researcher, forester and etc who may need to identify Bamboo species.
The proposed pilot project shall be sited at Sg. Sibiew Agriculture Training Centre (ATC), Bintulu. The Sg, Sibiew ATC previously served as ‘Taman Pertanian Bintulu’ with the total area of 438Ha. The proposed plot for siting our research and development project (Bamboo & Gaharu) is approximately 149Ha.
The proposed area shall be developed on dual purpose, both as research & development (R&D) project and as an eco-tourism area (Bamboo Botanical Park). The research aimed to collect, plant and documented all Bamboo species in Sarawak, Malaysia and most probably all over the world.
The finding from the R&D works should able to recommend on what products to be focused for production, species that have potential and can be commercialized, what expertise & technology needed, which species should be cultivated, documented all Bamboo species that have been collected & identified the species and examine bamboo potential for environmental management measures.
The project shall be divided into five main components, namely;
- Bamboo & Gaharu species collection centre - 6Ha
- Bamboo botanical park - 8Ha
- Oil Palm seed garden - 20Ha
- Oil Palm mini estate - 83Ha
- Gaharu trial plot - 20Ha
Beside Bamboo, there are 20Ha of land allocate for establishing trial plot to plant various species of Gaharu. The research aimed to collect species from Semenanjung Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippine and other countries. With this species collection, we can make comparison between the qualities, growth rate, characteristic and potential of each species.
Through this Gaharu project we hope to create awareness among the public to realize the potential of cultivating Gaharu, as it has high economic value. Gaharu plantation, if developed can contribute significantly to the country’s economy. It has not only provided as an agricultural activity but has been widely utilized for perfume, religious and medicinal purposes. The high market value of Gaharu provides great incentive to the trade. This subsequently creates employment, generate income and bring in investment throughout the activity chain/supply chain.
In this research and development programme, we strive to find out the best inoculants for Agarwood production. As we know, the Agarwood formation in the wild or the natural process takes a long time to produce Agarwood. This research should develop inoculation technology and all the related aspect in the future.
The research and development (R&D) are needed to study its agronomic aspects, economic viability, inducement technology, Agarwood grading, suitable species and the appropriate technology needed. The finding from the R&D works should be able to recommend on:
- What species should be cultivated;
- What inoculants should be use;
- Inoculation techniques;
- Aquilaria cultivation techniques;
- What products to be focused for production;
- What technology used for processing and manufacturing;
- Species collection; and
- What area of expertise needed