By JUNE S. BLANCO
A CHINESE investor intends to establish a bamboo plantation and processing plant in Bohol.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado’s (Bohol, 2nd District) said he recently met the investors’s Philippine representative here as the latter scouted around for suitable sites for the plantation and plant.
The solon said the big-time investor is looking for one million hectares of idle government and private lands throughout the country for the project. He is also eyeing Ubay as the center of his business operations due to its central location in the country, the solon added.
The investor’s representative also observed that Ubay already has an airport and seaports suitable for big cargo vessels. These infrastructures are vital to move raw materials and finished products, he said.
The bamboo stem can be processed into all types of building materials. On the other hand, its leaves and twigs can be processed into cloth.
The investor’s representative said farmers who plant bamboo can earn as much as P30,000 a month.
Bamboo’s advantage is it is not as labor intensive in planting as rice. It does not require close monitoring so that farmers can still attend to other activities. It also propagates prolifically hence, there is no need to replant in three months to four months as rice.
An added advantage of bamboo, being a “perennial” plant, on top of capturing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air is it gives off oxygen. And just like other plants, it absorbs and holds rain and runoff water thus contributing to a healthy aquifer.
It also helps retain water in dams, thus ensuring irrigation water for farmers.
Aumentado said the investor’s representative is now conducting a pre-feasibility study, for completion by the end of next month. He and the representative will present the study to the big-time investor in China in March or April.
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