Bamboo, considered a miracle plant in Asia because of its many uses, is projected to gain popularity in coming decades in Mexico in the construction, furniture and other industries, the Cofupro agricultural promotion agency said.

"For more than a decade, the United States and Canada have been seeking alternatives for the construction of houses due to deforestation and the closing of saw mills," Cofupro official Adriana Sanchez told Efe.

Mexico has 1,200 hectares (2,962 acres) planted with bamboo, a business that provides more than 4,000 direct and 26,000 indirect jobs.

Bamboo has become an alternative crop in backward and poor areas, Sanchez said.

China and India are the main producers of the plant, which grows in tropical areas around the world, but Mexico and Latin America will have an opportunity to develop the bamboo industry and export the commodity to developed countries.

The drop in the price of crops, especially coffee, in the past decade forced farmers to identify alternatives and begin developing the bamboo industry in Chiapas, Veracruz, Tabasco and Puebla states.

Environmentally friendly cabins, flooring, roofing materials, fencing and other products are being manufactured from bamboo in Mexico. 

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