Growing of bamboo

The bamboos belong to the grasses family and are the fastest-growing plants in the world and there are over 10,000 species of bamboo. Bamboo can grow in any landscape including those that are considered degraded.  It can grow in sandy, stony and sometimes water logged areas. In our farm we grow both green bamboos (Dendrocalamus asper) and Yellow Bamboos (Bambusa Vulgaris). Bamboo matures in about 3-5 years. Growing bamboo does not require fertilizers or pesticides as bamboo is resistant to diseases.

Demand for bamboo

There are many products on the market that are made out of bamboos giving some indication of the potential demand for products made from bamboo. Commercialization of bamboo in Uganda   is expected to generate income for the farmers and also create job opportunities for the rural community in addition of protecting the environment. Uganda has joined an International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) that helps members   with bamboo information, technology transfer, capacity building and policy formulation.

Uses of bamboo

The known uses of bamboo include the following among others;

  • Building materials;
  • Making furniture;
  • Fencing poles;
  • Make clothes and paper;
  • Making food utensils
  • Firewood;
  • Food for people and animals and
  • Herbal medicine.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), bamboo plant has over 2,000 different uses and China reckons there are nearly 10,000.

Challenges

We face the following challenges in the growing of bamboo;

  • Lack seedlings for planting;
  • Raising capital for growing of bamboo is a challenge;
  • The government has not yet fully intensified its efforts in commercializing bamboo in Uganda;
  • There is limited research knowledge on bamboo in Uganda;
  • Lack of community awareness of the uses of bamboo and
  • The bamboo national policy is not yet in place

Mitigation strategy

The action taken by the farm in addressing the above challenges include the following among others;

  • The farm has produced over 2000 seedlings to make seedlings available to the farmers;
  • Introduced black , giant bamboo and other varieties on the farm to in order to meet the demand for bamboo products;
  • Introduced bamboo varieties for food;
  • Embarked on value addition project and
  • The farm is continuously sharing information on bamboo with the local community and other stakeholders.

For more information on bamboo farming

contact us on email: johnmuhaisebikalemesa@yahoo.com

 

 

 



Author: Muhaise
John is developing an agritourism mix farm with the plan of keeping a few animals on zero grazing, growing trees, coffee and bananas among other things. He also plans to engage in bee, mushroom and fish farming projects. John has developed a website www.pearlofafrica.com to share his experience and challenges with other people as he implements his dream.

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