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.
Growing 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
- 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.
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