East Timor: Bamboo

Bamboo skills development, production and demonstration centre


Bamboo grows widely in Timor-Leste and can be used for a multitude of purposes. The bamboo processing industry is an example of further development in this industry in Timor-Leste; it contributes to creating employment and improving the standard of living of the population. The project aims at disseminating technologies for economic enhancement of craftspeople and small and medium-scale entrepreneurs in the Cane and Bamboo sector of Timor-Leste and to strengthen the capacity of existing institutions through networking and by linking them with specialized institutions in China, India and Europe. It has the main development objective of poverty reduction through employment and income generation in a post-crisis situation. The main machinery and equipment for a Skills Development Centre for Bamboo is an integral aspect of the project however to ensure the long-term sustainability of the center further activities like trainers training, the development of a business plan and links to potential markets, the identification of a suitable operational partner and related capacity building, a plantation feasibility study and other activities have been implemented.


  • Creating awareness about industrial potential of bamboo utilization.
    Producing bamboo laminate boards, and then using these as a wood-substitute, thus greatly enlarging the scope of bamboo utilization from mere traditional furniture-making.
    Providing equipment for manufacture of laminate boards in the earlier phase, and then equipment for diversification of products such as bamboo blinds.
    Training of villagers in correct harvesting methods of culms in the wild to increase yield.
    Establishing nurseries of selected indigenous species of bamboo for their multiplication through rural community involvement in plantation.
    Production of quality bamboo furniture of modern design (including knock-down) out of bamboo laminates.
    Production of handicrafts, household items and other minor items such as satay sticks and toothpicks from bamboo wastes.
    Enhancing up-stream benefits though training village communities in bamboo splitting as value added raw material for the Centre.
    Enhancing downstream benefits by training carpenters in the use of bamboo laminates for modern furniture and also artisans in handicraft making.
    Providing training of high quality at all levels of the bamboo industrial value chain
    Providing technical and managerial in-puts for removing bottlenecks, and marketing in-puts for setting the Centre on a sustainable path.


  • Centru Bambu Timor Leste (CBTL) established as a functioning production centre of bamboo laminates, bamboo furniture, bamboo blinds and bamboo handicrafts, with a trained staff of 40 persons.
  • Installed capacity of bamboo laminate board production machinery is 1000 square meters per month.
  • Equipment for manufacture of bamboo blinds procured and installed.
  • Capacity building of staff undertaken through training of 8 key managerial and technical staff in CBTC in India, and four technical trainings of various types in Timor-Leste.
  • Training on scientific Culm harvesting and plantation of bamboo given to farmers, and bamboo sapling nursery established with expertise from India.
  • Technical inputs on furniture design and quality furniture production.
  • Training to artisans on handicraft making, especially from bamboo wastes.
  • Diversification of product lines (product waste utilization, bamboo laminates, bamboo blinds, value-added marketable products).
  • Current sales of various bamboo manufactured products around $30,000 per annum.
  • Government committed to granting Centre complete functional autonomy to make it self-sustaining, including possibility of transformation into a public company.
  • Sales and promotion brochure prepared, and preparations underway for participation in international trade fair in Singapore/ Malaysia in March 2012.

For more information on this project:

UCSSIC India Director
Krishna Lall
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