Bamboo Plantations (1)
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Bamboo Research Division, RISF, China. 2001. Bamboo Plantations (1). INBAR, Beijing, China
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/64389
Plantation establishment requires minimal capital investment and builds upon the inherent plant-cultivation skills of local farmers and foresters
1. Medium and Large Scale Bamboo Plantations Medium and large-scale bamboo plantations are plantations too large for an individual family to manage on their own. They are thus about 1 hectare or larger and may be up to many square kilometres. They may be managed for culm production, shoot production or both. Most of the commercially productive bamboo plantations in the world are medium or large scale and they benefit from the economies of their size. 2. General development attributes and advantages The main development attributes of the technology are as follows: • Income generation for poor rural people • Improves and broadens farmers plant cultivation skills base, making them more able to handle shocks and empowering them with new abilities • Increasing the area of managed bamboo resources • Brings degraded land back into productivity and reduces erosion • Promotes the sustainable increased use of bamboo as a wood substitute The main advantages of the technology are: • It builds upon rural farmers own inherent plant-cultivation abilities and hence is easily adopted • It is extremely environmentally friendly - organic inputs such as fertiliser are better for bamboo growth than inorganic ones. 3. Suitable agro-ecological regions The medium or large-scale bamboo plantation may be established in any bamboogrowing region of the world. Additionally tropical, subtropical and temperate regions that presently do not have natural bamboos are also suitable. There are many species suitable for different climatic conditions and some are very frost-hardy. However bamboos are not suitable for very dry areas unless irrigation is provided. Consideration will need to be given to the market for the culms produced. Species with large culms often have a wide range of uses but those with small culms have limited uses. These small species are often the most resilient, as they grow at the fringes of the natural bamboo distribution areas. Thus one needs to define suitability as suitability for the particular species one wishes to grow. The plantation of bamboo improves the physical and chemical composition of soil considerably, prevents soil erosion in river and sea banks and preserves water in soil by creating a natural water reservoir. Land productivity per unit area increases, reducing the pressure on land due to high population density. Bamboo also produces more oxygen in comparison with the same quantity of many other trees 4. Requirement for success The essential requirements for a successful medium or large-scale bamboo plantation are: • Interest of local communities to plant bamboo • Land availability, ideally degraded land. • Availability of raw materials - Propagules, fertilisers, tools. • Finance for the purchase of seedlings, fertilisers, tools and equipment charges of skilled and semi-skilled labour at various stages. • Well established financing mechanism • Institutional support and infrastructure. • Regular supply of labour • Market for the bamboo culms produced by the plantation Concluding remarks The bamboo sector is not easily affected by climate and environment. Related activities are environmentally friendly and do not normally require a high level of mechanisation or financial input. A good plantation can be established with the help of local untrained manpower who can be taught the necessary skills. Due to the size of the plantation it may be established as part of a coordinated regional or local bamboo development venture including bamboo processing units that the plantation could supply. In this case it may be preferable to establish it with the assistance of NGOs or state agencies to ensure the proper infrastructural facilities and linkages are in place.