KUCHING: Sarawak has the potential to go into bamboo cultivation in a big way for the timber industry due to the availability of land and suitability of its soil climate, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

Awang Tengah, who is also State Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, said bamboo is one of the fastest growing crops with a gestation of three to four years that auger well for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the timber industry.

“Bamboo will be able to add value to timber and research and development (R&D) on bamboo will be able to spearhead the development of SMEs in Sarawak,” he told a news conference to announce the Sarawak Timber and SMEs Expo and Design Conference Expo 2019, here today.

The event, which will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching from June 27 to 30, is expected to generate direct cash sales of about RM7 million.

It is targeted to create awareness on the importance of design in the timber and SME sector in Sarawak in line with the Pool of Young Designers (Poyod) training programme implemented by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC).

Present were Sarawak Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and SME Development Datuk Naroden Majais, State Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh, State Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources permanent secretary Datuk Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar, and STIDC general manager Hashim Bojet.–BERNAMA