During a recent training session in Ethiopia, participants learned how to sustainably harvest bamboo and how to make quality bamboo products
INBAR staff conducted a bamboo development and processing training in the Amhara region in Ethiopia, as part of the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development Programme: Phase II. More than 270 trainees attended the session, which aimed to build capacity on the manufacturing of improved quality bamboo products and furniture, and sustainable bamboo harvesting.
Bamboo farmers received training on bamboo farm management which included topics on bamboo cultivation, clump management, bamboo age identification, seasonal harvesting, and bamboo seed collection. Furniture producers received training on material selection, joint systems, bending and finishing of bamboo furniture and also weaving techniques for baskets, and mats. The training coordinator pointed out how the East Gojjam zone in Debre Markos is rich in bamboo that has yet to be properly utilised. Training participants were selected from five local districts and it was organised in collaboration with Debre Markos University and Sinan Technical and Vocational Education and Training College.
Sustainable bamboo management and product development are particularly important skills in Ethiopia, given that bamboo grows on many farms. Creating a link between bamboo farmers and furniture makers, as well as bamboo processing companies, is the most effective way to ensure a healthy bamboo value chain. Many of the farmers who were trained said they were motivated to manage their bamboo in a sustainable way, as they understand this is key to obtain healthy and strong bamboo culms. Meanwhile, furniture makers and bamboo processing companies can receive a good quality bamboo culm that translates into quality products.
Following the training, three enterprises were formed by the trainees to further strengthen the work on sustainable bamboo processing and furniture making. Moreover, at the end of the training, the tools and machinery were handed to trainees from the hands of district administrators and university representatives.
The goal of the Dutch-Sino–East Africa Bamboo Development Programme: Phase II is to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits from bamboo in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, by developing inclusive and sustainable value chains for industries and small and medium enterprises, resulting in enhanced livelihood opportunities, food security and environmental management.