Sustainable bamboo products in Houaphanh province
SNV in Lao PDR has been partnering with GRET in Houaphanh province, in the north of Laos, to support the development of selected bamboo value chains/products. Together with local government and villagers, We have set up a framework for the sustainable harvesting of bamboo, which is then processed into other products, for example chopsticks and tooth picks, and also collected as shoots for food.
SNV works with local people to set up rules for protecting the forest and harvesting sustainably the bamboo in rehabilitated forest areas. Harvesting plans and collection schedules have been put into place, and villagers are adhering to these plans, as they have noticed firsthand the benefits of increased harvests and quality when regrowth schedules are followed. For many communities in this area, bamboo is a main source of income. Since the project began, many participants have been able to earn more income than prior to the project’s inception. See what they have to say about it firsthand by watching our video (see below) on the project.
We work to support the business development stage following harvest, by facilitating bamboo producer group formation and strengthening the capacities of these groups, while also providing technical assistance on production and processing. These producers are then linked with markets and buyers for their products. The project also assists producers and traders in accessing credit and capital for production and marketing. We also look into the policy aspects of the project and supports the coordination of the bamboo task force and working group which helped to develop the provincial bamboo strategic plan for 2015-2020.
The overall goal of the project is to provide stable and sustainable income and employment, contributing to poverty alleviation and preserving forest functions and upland development. The target is to support 2400 households to earn $50 (or 20%) more by the year 2015, to create 100 jobs in bamboo processing, and facilitate supply contracts with buyers at a total value of $500,000.