My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Bamboo Farming in Peckham, Clarendon boost Farming via Export of VAP

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How Bamboo Farming in Peckham, Clarendon boost Farming via Export of VAP

“Through this project, also, we expect to see a curtailment of the rural-urban drift. We expect that the citizens of Jamaica will be more appreciative of locally produced goods and we expect that this project will be so successful that it will be replicated across Jamaica”

Chairman of the Peckham Development Committee, Andrew Carty, commenting on the OAS donation towards the training of Bamboo farmers

Clarendon peeps are slowly climbing the bamboo pole of success.

The Farming district of Peckham in the hills of northwest Clarendon were granted JA$15-million from the OAS (Organization of American) to training farmers to develope Bamboo (bambusa vulgaris) farming in their community as reported in the article “Bamboo Goes Commercial In Peckham”, published Wednesday August 5, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner

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The OAS funding is part of the 2015-2017 programme cycle under the theme 'Social Development and Creation of Productive Employment' to train some eighty (80) persons to utilize some forty (40) acres of land for a communal Bamboo farm as reported in the article “80 Clarendon Youths To Be Employed In Bamboo Project”, published Monday August 3, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

That's just for starters, as another JA$10 million for the start-up phase of the program is to come from the NHT (National Housing Trust).

Bamboo Farming in Peckham, Clarendon – Money flowing into Clarendon Farming

This latest donation is in addition to some JA$1.4 million from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China and JA$500,000 from the CARILED (Caribbean Local Economic Development Project).

The project hasn't started as yet, but project originator and Member of Parliament Richard Azan is predicting a September 2015 start to the training farmers to grow and develope Bamboo Farming in community of Peckham, in northwest Clarendon.

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Finally, Bamboo (bambusa vulgaris) farming is moving forward in Jamaica since the motion put forward by Senator Norman Grant in Parliament on Friday January 17th 2014 to restart Bamboo Farming as explained in my blog article entitled “Senator Norman Grant proposes revival of Bamboo and Rattan Industry in Jamaica - Private Sector involvement for the Large-Scale Growing of Bamboo Gods and Iron Men needed”.

So how exactly did Bamboo Farming start in Peckham? Can this be replicated through Jamaica?

Bamboo Farming and Jamaica – Huge Export potential for VAP

Bamboo (bambusa vulgaris) farming has huge export potential for a variety of products from Furniture, Craft items, Charcoal and even ketchup as reported in the article “Local bamboo ketchup now available”, published Monday, January 12, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.

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However, up until March 2014, the export of Bamboo Charcoal, revered for its low smoke, slow burning and delicate flavor imparted to Bar-B-Que food, has been facing problems due to the lack of Bamboo furnaces as reported in my blog article entitled “Jamaica's Bamboo Charcoal exports stalled by lack of Bamboo Furnaces – How to build a Fresnel Lens Solar Powered Bamboo Furnace and produce Activated Charcoal byproduct”. 

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However, for the Peckham Development Committee Bamboo Project, the second of its kind,  they plan to focus on certain value-added products as listed in the article “Bamboo Project To Get Under Way In Peckham”, Published Thursday June 4, 2015 by Shanique Samuels, The Jamaica Gleaner.  

These products are as follows:

1.      Bamboo charcoal
2.      Bamboo lumber/wood products
3.      Bamboo edible products

Bamboo (bambusa vulgaris) is the only wood in Jamaica that can be legally turned into Charcoal, making Bamboo Charcoal the easier product to be made from Charcoal.

Already, Jamaica has exported some 24,000-lb of Bamboo Charcoal worth JA$5 million as reported in the article “Gov't exporting second batch of organic bamboo charcoal”, published Wednesday, August 05, 2015, The Jamaica Observer

The Bamboo and Rattan Industry is worth nearly US$15-billion and projected to reach some US$20 billion by 2015.

These figures that have made Deputy Director General, Economic Policy planning and logistics at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Richard Lumsden declare that money is there for the taking, quote: “This project is a 'low hanging fruit' that has the potential to provide immediate employment. It was, therefore, selected due to its potential to mitigate unemployment through the creation of small businesses as well as providing employment opportunities”.

So with Vision 2030 on the horizon, the community of Peckham, Clarendon can make a living from Bamboo (bambusa vulgaris).

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