Eastern Africa Bamboo Project (EABP)
In general production and consumption of bamboo and bamboo products in Eastern Africa is very limited, and the value addition imparted by such limited processing as exists presently is minimal. There are many indigenous and traditional uses of bamboo in the region, but these are of low value addition and are usually for subsistence use by the producers. Approximately 80% of the population of Eastern Africa relies on agriculture activities to make a living, and poverty is rife.
The long-term objective of the project is to promote the development of the sustainable production and use of bamboo products in East African countries, with a focus on markets as the driving force behind such sectoral development. The project will contribute to the reduction of poverty in rural, degraded and marginalized areas by turning bamboo -the ”poor man’s timber”- into a cash crop for wood substitution and for food processing creating rural and urban employment and value-addition to ultimately improve the economy of LDC’s.
The specific objectives of the project are targeting employment and income generation for poverty alleviation and sustainable development through:
- Improving the technological and skills inputs in bamboo processing,
- Developing capacity for the sustainable supply of raw bamboo materials,
- Improving technical, functional and aesthetic aspects of products to diversify into new markets.