Bali to build bamboo museum in Gianyar

25 , 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Bali plans to build a bamboo museum in Keramas village in Gianyar next year to preserve the plant that has high economic, religious and ecological value.

(the jegog, bamboo ensemble of West Bali)

The establishment of the museum, on a two-hectare plot of land, is estimated to cost Rp 5.8 billion (US$606,220) and will be funded from the state budget, Gianyar Regent Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said.

“The bamboo museum is expected to also be the center of research and development for all bamboo species nationwide,” said Cok Ace, as the regent is popularly known.

The plan has been started with the planting of bamboo near the location, just a few meters from the seashore at Masceti beach.

Cok Ace said that building the museum was important to further develop the multifunctional plant.

“For the Balinese, bamboo has many religious values. To respect this plant, we are forbidden to cut down bamboo on particular days,” he added.

In addition to the religious value, bamboo also has high economic value.

“Many people are interested in buying bamboo plants from Gianyar. The plant can live for more than 100 years, as long as you pay attention to the best ways to crop it,” the regent said. He estimated that a single hectare of bamboo could generate around Rp 15 million.

The economic value could be even higher if the bamboo is turned into handicrafts, as they do in Belega village, which is known as one of the regency’s centers for the bamboo industry.

The regency administration has been intensifying bamboo planting for the last three years, particularly in the hilly areas.

“Bamboo also has high ecological value. It can help prevent landslides,” Cok Ace said, adding that his administration planned to establish a 75-square-kilometer bamboo forest.

Since the planting started three years ago, the regency now has a 60-hectare bamboo forest in the north. “We started from one village, Payangan, and hopefully other villages will follow suit.”

The challenge in this program, he said, was to raise people’s awareness about the importance of bamboo.

Early last week, the Gianyar administration received 4,000 bamboo seeds from Kehati environmental foundation to be planted in the regency, as part of the program.

I Made Witarjana, a farmer in Kerta village, Payangan, was very enthusiastic about the program. Since it started almost three years ago, he has been planting bamboo on his 1.5-hectare plot of land.

“In November, I will harvest bamboo sprouts for the first time. I’m optimistic I will have a good harvest.”

Bamboo researcher from Udayana University’s Faculty of Agriculture Technology, Pande Ketut Diah Kencana, shared the same view about the necessity to build a bamboo museum to help develop the plant.

“Bamboo has very high value for the economy and the environment. It will be great if Bali could have a bamboo museum.”

 

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