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Statistics on resources, production and trade

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The collection of reliable statistical information is a skilled and costly business. The issue of statistics on bamboo and rattan is explored, illustrating the need, the problems and the possibilities for collecting information. The information need varies according to whether bamboo and rattan are important to households, to local communities, to industry or to national and international trade. In the main producing regions all these apply, while in importing regions industry and trade are the dominant concerns.

Although this information is important to people actively dealing with aspects of bamboo and rattan in the economy, data may be difficult to collect. Specific information on these topics may have small significance for general assessment of the national economy or of international trade. Bamboo and rattan are often harvested and processed, marketed and utilised by rural households with no formal records. The production in the commercial system often involves small scale of operation and a wide range of products.

The current state of data collection is problematical. Though the data for China are rather comprehensive, for other important producer countries the available data are limited and not consistently available over time. The available data hardly give an indication of the scope and importance of bamboo and rattan for rural communities. Trade data provides broad indications of magnitude but specific data is lacking.

Recommendations on the development of bamboo and rattan information involve in the first place the initiative and commitment of the countries, communities and enterprises to which the products are important and the collaboration and support of a number of international organisations. These would focus on resource assessment, production and activity surveys and improvement of international trade data.


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