Rua says BITL is developing the “entire value chain” of bamboo production with a “zero-waste approach” and has been boosted by the recently completed Dili-Ainaro Road Development Corridor (DARDC) project.
Funded by Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the DARDC project was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Ministry of State Administration, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI), municipal authorities and local communities.
The project aims to improve the natural disaster resilience and economic capacity of over 26,000 people living in the corridor. The project’s primary focus is on water access and management, including irrigation, tank storage, flood mitigation and reforestation initiatives.
BITL benefitted from DARDC primarily through support for a national strategy for bamboo, which guides the development and promotion of the industry, with a focus on environmental sustainability. The project also supplied BITL with planing and carbonizing machines.
The project supplied cross-cutting and stripping machines to five rural collection centres. The relatively simple machines separate bamboo poles into various parts for use in different supply chains, thereby processing higher volumes and adding value at the local level.
Small producers also benefited from the DARDC project. Alongside BITL’s operations the project have enabled a dozen community bamboo nurseries to plant a combined 35,000 bamboo saplings for 2020.