Nigeria Can Generate 24 Million Jobs From Bamboo Production
Director of Forestry Department Ministry of Environment, Mr John Auta, has said that Nigeria can generate N28.6bn annually from bamboo production as well as create over 24 million jobs.
He said the management of bamboo forest would generate large-scale employment through harvesting, collection, transportation, storage, processing, utilization and marketing of products which would be replicated in Nigeria.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP at the weekend, he said: “The comparative advantage for Nigeria to adopt bamboo as tool for employment generation and rural development is not in doubt, because of the large pool of unemployed youths. With this, over 24 million jobs can be created and the country can get to generate N28.6bn annually too.
“The availability of indigenous bamboo species that would thrive well even in poor or degraded soil in many parts of the country is another advantage to Nigeria.”
He also advised Nigerians to commence the propagation of Bamboo to reduce overbearing demand on timber products, adding that dependence on timber had posed a serious threat to timber production.
He said the department was already reaching out to relevant bodies to achieve the goal of cultivating bamboo and other non timber products and added that the Nigerian forests were lying fallow, waiting to be explored in areas that would positively affect the people.
He said: “Nigeria is blessed with bamboo resources which grow on both private and state forest lands in all the southern rain forest states up to some derived savanna states in the North-central states of Nigeria.
“Bamboo has high potential for contributions to achieving sustainable forest management when it is optimally and efficiently utilized for producing substitutes for wood production and increases incomes for rural lively hoods,” he said.
He announced that Nigeria became a member of the International Network for Bamboo and rattan (INBAR) to actualize the goal of achieving the bamboo production in the country.
According to him, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) had undertaken a project formulation mission for the development of project proposal on bamboo and rattan processing in Nigeria.
He said the purpose of the project was to promote the development of bamboo and rattan value chain in West Africa.