Home World News China County in China embraces high-quality development of bamboo industry

County in China embraces high-quality development of bamboo industry

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Bamboo strips are dried in a bamboo processing factory in Guantian township, Chongyi county, east China's Jiangxi province. (Photo by Qiu Xinsheng/People's Daily Online)
Bamboo strips are dried in a bamboo processing factory in Guantian township, Chongyi county, east China's Jiangxi province. (Photo by Qiu Xinsheng/People's Daily Online)

By Wang Dan, 

Chongyi county in Ganzhou, east China’s Jiangxi province, boasts vast bamboo forests that span over 700,000 mu (about 46,667 hectares). It is renowned as one of the top 10 bamboo towns in China.

However, the development of the local bamboo industry had once been stagnant despite the rich bamboo resources, due to inadequate transportation facilities, limited market access and local bamboo factories’ non-compliance with environmental standards. Many bamboo forests were left unattended.

Thanks to measures implemented by the county to build standardized factories, extend the bamboo industrial chain, and establish digital trade platforms, the local bamboo industry has gone through a magnificent transformation, embracing high-quality development.

Bamboo farmer Le Yi runs a bamboo processing factory in Qianchang village, Qianchang township of Chongyi county. The 3,000-square meter facility is equipped with standard environmental protection devices.

“In the past few years, there were many bamboo processing factories in Qianchang township, as bamboos were readily available from the nearby mountains for sale. However, bamboo product manufacturing would pollute the surrounding environment, and many businesses failed to make proper eco-friendly improvements, resulting in their closure,” Le said.

As a result, the number of processing factories in the township sharply decreased, and selling raw bamboos became an unprofitable business, Le added.

In order to promote the development of the bamboo industry, Chongyi county built standard factories in its townships. Le contracted to run his factory at the end of 2022, which has become a hot destination for local raw bamboos and provides many job opportunities to local residents. The factory can process 1,800 tons of bamboos per month and employs over 40 nearby villagers.

To further extend the value chain of the bamboo industry, Chongyi county explored a model that gathers strengths of leading enterprises, small-scale factories and bamboo farmers. It set up small-scale factories in 16 townships, and Le’s factory is one of them.

“We have developed a wide range of products to make full use of bamboo plants.” Le told People’s Daily. According to him, the primary bamboo materials are supplied to leading enterprises to produce bamboo plywood and furniture, while the secondary materials are used to produce chopsticks and skewers. Even the leftovers can be transformed into activated carbon. 

The sale of different segments of bamboo materials has enabled Le to expand sales channels, diversify bamboo usages, and increase profits.

The development model of Chongyi’s bamboo industry has proved to be a win-win result for all parties involved, by providing sufficient raw materials for leading enterprises, expanding the range of products for small-scale factories and widening sales channels for bamboo farmers.

With the help of new-generation information technology, Chongyi county is also assisting relevant enterprises to achieve intelligent and digital transformation and upgrading.

In the Guantian Industrial Park, less than 20 kilometers away from Le’s factory, a workshop of a company was bustling, despite having very few workers.

The entire production line in the workshop is automated, lifting the daily processing capacity to 12,000 pieces per day from 4,000 pieces. Besides, a big database has been employed to automatically identify bamboo strips with defects, making the sorting process more efficient.

“Intelligent transformation has enhanced our production efficiency, ensured product quality, and lowered production costs, making us more competitive in the market,” said Kong Qingguo, head of the company.

The bamboo industry in Chongyi county used to suffer from supply-demand imbalances, low industrial agglomeration, and weak brand influence. To address these challenges, the county launched a digital trading platform, available on both the website and WeChat mini-program.

“In the past, it was rare for me to have a few days off at home in a month because I was always on the road meeting clients. Now, online trading has made things much easier and allowed me to spend more time at home,” said Le.

While talking with People’s Daily reporters, he received an order notification on the phone. Then he opened the digital trade mini-program and called the buyer to negotiate transaction details.

“The platform provides more sales channels, enabling us to showcase our products online and stay updated on industry trends. More importantly, we can complete transactions online,” Le told People’s Daily.

In March this year, a company engaging in container floor production saw insufficient inventory of raw bamboos due to a surge in the orders it received.

“After we posted our demand on the mini-program, we received quotations from 10 suppliers and managed to strike deals with six of them, which resolved our urgent need,” said Wang Peng, an employee of the company.

Eighty percent of bamboo enterprises in Chongyi county have joined the digital trading platform. “By integrating bamboo resources in the county, the platform contributes to rational and efficient allocation of resources, and benefits all stakeholders along the industrial chain, including leading enterprises, factories, cooperatives, and bamboo farmers,” said Huang Xuepeng, head of Chongyi county’s forestry bureau.

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