Zhenghe county in SE China's Fujian promotes upgrading of bamboo industry

(People's Daily Online) 09:37, January 17, 2024

Zhenghe county in southeast China's Fujian Province has increased its financial input and issued multiple documents to encourage enterprises to promote the upgrading of the bamboo industry.

The county is home to 460,000 mu (30,667 hectares) of bamboo groves. It introduced bamboo processing technologies in 2003, which led to the rapid development of the bamboo industry.

Photo shows bamboo-made lanterns. (People's Daily/Wang Yinxin)

However, in the early stage of development, local companies produced homogeneous products, which resulted in continuously declining prices, said Yang Zhong, chairman of Fujian Xiangfu Technology Co., Ltd. (Xiangfu).

In 2012, the county issued a document to allocate 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) every year to develop the bamboo industry, focused on supporting bamboo enterprises in improving product R&D and technology.

"With policy support, we have continuously refined our technologies. Every time we make a breakthrough in one technology, we create a new product category. Now, our company already has 157 patents, and the numbers continue to rise," said Yang.

As of the end of 2023, Zhenghe had over 220 bamboo processing enterprises, which boast 788 patents and produce more than 3,600 types of bamboo products in seven major categories. These include tea sets, tableware, furniture, lamps, bamboo charcoal, and bamboo handicrafts, according to Zhang Fuqiang, director of the county's bamboo industry development center.

Photo shows bamboo products. (People's Daily/Wang Yinxin)

In 2023, the output value of the county's bamboo industry reached 6.79 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.5 percent.

"To enhance product competitiveness, upgrading craftsmanship in the production stage alone is not enough. We also need to pursue craftsmanship improvement throughout the production chain and make efforts in design and development to keep abreast with market demand," said Zhang.

Zhang said that the county has held the "Zhenghe Cup" international bamboo product design competition for seven consecutive sessions, building a platform for bamboo enterprises and designers, while helping enterprises improve innovative design capabilities.

Considering the ergonomics of the human body, and using traditional Chinese mortise and tenon techniques and new waterproof coatings, Xiangfu designed a bamboo chair priced at over 1,000 yuan. "We can sell more than 1,000 such chairs a month. We have considerably increased the added value of bamboo products and handicrafts," Yang said.

In September 2023, Zhenghe issued an interim implementation plan to encourage bamboo processing companies to further conduct research on the substitution of plastics and wood with bamboo, and expand the application scenarios of bamboo products.

Nowadays, more and more high-quality yet inexpensive bamboo products can be found in public institutions, schools, hotels, scenic spots, and supermarkets in the county.

The bamboo industry in Zhenghe will enjoy broader prospects, while the substitution of plastics with bamboo will embrace more possibilities, Zhang said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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