An App for Bamboo Products in the Philippines Is in the Works
In an effort to bring in bamboo farming into the digital age, the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines-Cagayan de Oro (USTP-CDO) is developing an app that would create an online marketing platform for Filipino bamboo products.
Bamboost hopes to help bamboo farmers, processors, and entrepreneurs reach a wider market for their goods. The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) had funded the project, with Bukidnon, Iligan, and Iloilo as its initial target sites. The app will eventually focus on serving these areas, as well.
Bamboost is currently in the first phase of development. The USTP-CDO had conducted a soft launch and user testing of the app last May 24 at the iDEYA: Center for Technopreneurship Innovation, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT). The organization invited 12 key players in the bamboo value chain in Iligan to be participants.
Technology Transfer and Promotion Division Assistant Director Jose Tomas Cabagay expressed his satisfaction with the launch, as well. "We believe that the successful implementation of the project—from the creation, launching and mainstreaming of the Bamboost App, its IP registration, and introduction to farming communities producing various bamboo products—will eventually lead to its commercialization, in the years to come."
The project happens to be a brainchild of Analiza Diaz, who is a staff member of the DOST-PCAARRD’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Division. Diaz had came up with the idea for her master’s program at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand.
According to the DOST-PCAARRD, the Philippines is the sixth-largest bamboo exporter in the world. It is one of the most versatile nontimber forest products and a high-value crop that can be used as furniture, bicycles, and utensils, as well as food and beverages.
Another user testing for the app will be held in Iloilo this month.
Ultimately, the project's goal is to set up a sustainable, inclusive, and technologically capable bamboo-farming generation fitting for the times.
“It’s a big help for us farmers. At first, we were just focusing on the community that needs help, but right now we have seen a wider scope of the market," farmer Fred Dinoro said in Cebuano. "There’s a mobile application that we can use, and if this gets developed well in the future, someday we will have a better economy.”