Residents certified in bamboo cultivation

April 11, 2016

Fifteen residents of Peckham in Clarendon are now certified in bamboo cultivation and product manufacturing, after completing training in these skills.

The training was conducted by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Social Development Commission, and Institute of Nursing, Technology and Household Management, under the $15 million (US$130,000) Organisation of American States (OAS) grant-funded Peckham Bamboo Pre-processing Project.

The residents received their certificates during a presentation ceremony at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica's head office on Winchester Road in Kingston last Friday.

Special Projects Director at the BSJ, Gladstone Rose, who advised that the project also involves the establishment of a pre-processing plant, said trainees are taught how to use bamboo to make a variety of products. These include organic charcoal for which he said "we have markets lined up".

One thousand pounds of charcoal has already been produced and sold to a private entity since the programme commenced in May 2015.

The two-year project ultimately aims to create employment opportunities for the residents, and is expected to spur Peckham's overall development.

More than 60 persons will be trained, with the second group of 17 slated to begin the programme today. Rose advised that on conclusion of the project's implementation in 2017, consideration will be given to embarking on a similar undertaking in other communities.

"We can move on to more than one community because we would have developed the template in Peckham that we can replicate (elsewhere)," he said.

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