Tiny bamboo toothpick prying up big market overseas
Over 53 tons of bamboo products with a market value of 809,000 yuan (US$120,660) have recently been shipped to Indonesia from Chongyi, a hilly county in east China's Jiangxi Province.
"About 70 percent of our bamboo products, mainly toothpicks and chopsticks, are exported overseas," said Huang Qiqiu, manager of Guiyuan Bamboo & Wood Factory in Chongyi.
Chongyi, boasting over 48,900 hectares of bamboo forests in the city of Ganzhou, is a major bamboo growing area in China, yielding more than 10 million bamboos for commercial use each year.
"Bamboo is full of treasures. The bamboo shoot is a popular seasonal ingredient, while the bamboo stem can be used to make toothpicks, chopsticks and tubes," said Huang, adding that bamboo products made in Chongyi are very well received in Indonesia.
Yet before 2019, local bamboo products were rarely exported. "We were unfamiliar with the regulation and technological and quality requirements of overseas markets. All thanks to the local customs authorities, they taught us step by step to export our products," Huang said.
"We obtain the requirements of export destinations, guide enterprises to standardize traceability management, and strictly control inspection and quarantine risks from raw materials to final products," said Zeng Lin with Ganzhou Customs.
In addition, the customs have facilitated export procedures for agricultural and sideline products to further raise clearance efficiency.
Ganzhou Customs has, since 2022, supervised the export of 81 batches of bamboo products with a total value of 20.5 million yuan, an increase of 42.2 percent year on year.
Today bamboo has fostered an industry cluster that benefits both local residents and enterprises. In 2021, the comprehensive output value of the county's bamboo industry amounted to 1.7 billion yuan.
"At present, more than 60 people work at my factory, earning an average monthly income of 5,500 yuan, most of whom are local residents," Huang said.
Chongyi County has also established a bamboo industry association, guiding farmers to form joint ventures or joint-stock companies. Currently, there are 15 bamboo industry cooperatives, and more than 1,720 households are engaged in the business.
"We are optimistic about the vast markets overseas," Huang said. This year, his factory added two production lines to meet the diversified market demands and expand export volume.