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|Much of Thanh Hoa's wealth lies in bamboo, and a more sustainable value chain would do wonders in the province|
On September 17, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Oxfam and Thanh Hoa Bamboo Association organised the workshop on “Building a sustainable value chain model for bamboo in Thanh Hoa province”.
In the framework of the workshop, parties discussed the current situation of the bamboo value chain in Thanh Hoa province and its development potential, while simultaneously clarifying the key issues it faces in the province. Besides, representatives of the organisers introduced the initiative to establish an innovative ecosystem and inclusive business model for bamboo, with carefully crafted development orientations for the bamboo value chain in Thanh Hoa.
Accordingly, enterprises could improve the living standards of the poor by creating jobs and opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, providing skills, access to markets and infrastructure, and supplying the necessary goods and services at an affordable price.
Enterprises should work with communities in mutually beneficial value chains so that producers can earn enough money to satisfy their lives while promoting more competitive business.
According to the representative of Oxfam, the confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, through this schemeenterprises will achieve success by improving productivity and quality, creating competitive advantages and expanding markets by working with the poor to create sustainable economic values.
Thanh Hoa has the largest area of bamboo plantations in the country with a total of 152,000 hectares yielding about 94 million bamboo trees. The income from growing bamboo makes up 50-80 per cent of local residents’ income. There are 126 enterprises and facilities specialising in processing and trading bamboo in the province. However, the value gained from value has yet to reach its potential.
|International visitors were intrigued by the sustainable potential of bamboo|
In a talk with VIR about art products made from bamboo, Prof Erik Rombault from Belgium's KU Leuven was full of praise for renewable materials like bamboo. "I keep emphasising that it is very important to find ways to detach the bamboo image from poverty, we should make bamboo trendy and flashy."
He confirmed that bamboo is a renewable material. "I'm teaching my students in Belgium at university about how they should try to get rid of conventional materials like plastic because they are not biodegradable – but bamboo is. The only thing is that we have to find ways to preserve bamboo, against climate, against insects, against all kinds of damage. But once we find the way to do that, bamboo will be a very promising material for the future."
Also at the workshop, the Thanh Hoa Bamboo Association has been established to mobilise enterprises, co-operatives, bamboo growers, and individuals who plant bamboo to move in accord to defend their rights and benefits and contribute to the socio-economic development of Thanh Hoa and the country.