Bamboo craft and houses could mean big business for Guyana


Over the past two weeks, 33 Guyanese were able to benefit from a sustainable bamboo development training programme that could spur profitable ventures in bamboo craft and furniture making and eventually, the building of houses.

Guyana has more than 40 species of bamboos – the fastest growing land plant in the world.

Region Two’s Regional Executive Officer Devanand Ramdatt, who led the programme, said Guyana has not fully exploited this plant here. This programme, however, offers Guyanese the opportunity to use more of this plant.

It was coordinated and hosted by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) and the Chinese Embassy.

The group of trainees was selected from across the country; some came from community groups, others from the University of Guyana.

Chinese Ambassador Guo Haiyan interacting with some of the trainees (Photo: News Room/ August 29, 2022)

Debbie Argyle, the Chairperson of the Mahaica Women’s Group, is one of the beneficiaries.

“I used to plait branches from the age of six years and being a craft person, I had a little knowledge,” she related.

Eager to gain another skill, however, she spent the past two weeks immersing herself in the use of bamboo. Baskets and headpieces were among the items the group created but on her own, Argyle created belts, purses and placemats.

Argyle said she intends on sharing what she learnt with the other 20 members of the women’s group.

Beyond these items, however, Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan alluded to other business opportunities.

“There is great potential for bamboo housing (and) housing furniture in Guyana,” the Ambassador told the trainees, while expressing her hope that they will be able to find ready markets for their products.

Similarly, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall said that the government hopes to create new business opportunities for people. And creating bamboo products can prove to be a profitable venture.

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