Bamboo- An Excellent Plantation Crop for Climate Change Adaptation

“Bamboo is an excellent crop for Climate Change Adaptation – should be brought under massive cultivation across the country as it can easily mitigate global warming” said Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman, a famous Plantation Crop Specialist.

He claimed that bamboo is a very fast growing wonderful natural resource suitable for climate change adaptation by converting atmospheric CO2 into biomass, keeping water table up, controlling erosion, acting as strong windbreaks and reducing storms and cyclones. It rejuvenates and creates soil and it has endless uses. More interestingly, it grows luxuriantly without application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and it is absolutely grows organically.

“Although it is a great crop with many contributions but a very little study on its production, yield, habit and habitat has practically been done here in Bangladesh” Dr Rahman, an accomplished agricultural researcher thus expressed his great concern during the presentation of keynote paper on “Environment and Cultural Practices of Bamboo” .

Eminent researchers, including faculties and students of College of Agricultural Sciences were participated in the workshop. Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman, also the Director of Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC) detailed the importance and cultivation practices of different types of bamboos grown in Bangladesh. He mentioned that about 30 different species including exotic, naturally grown and cultivated bamboo species are found of which 18 species are local, found in different regions especially in the hilly and flood free zones but the rests are found only in Botanical Gardens and BFRI, Chittagong and Forestry campuses. Although bamboo cultivation has started more than two thousand years back in this region but its practical and scientific study, especially on its habit and habitat, is very rare. Some traditional wisdom on bamboo management was collected by Khana which are widely known as “Khanar Bochan”. People are still following those great traditional practices, generation after generation.

Bamboo is the primary building material of rural Bangladesh. It is widely used for making fence, mats, household utensils and handicrafts, paper-pulp and rayon, furniture, agricultural and fishing equipments, transports, scaffolding, rafting logs etc., and many more. Bamboo shoots are also consumed by the tribal people.

Dr Rahman described the importance of bamboo and termed as soil creator or rejuvenator; bamboo soil is considered as virgin soil usually used for nursery raising. Bamboo makes the soil porous with its active fibrous root system and enrich with humus through microbial activities. Bamboo roots can penetrate the hard slates, gravelly stone layers and also the laterite soil. For windbreak and erosion control, bamboo is very effective.

For quick growth, bamboo is considered as one of the fastest growing species usually attains its full growth within 4 to 5 months. In some stages it may be about one meter in a day. We see the growing bamboos in April or May but the meristematic activity of the new buds starts from February (End Magh). Some variations are there, according to weather condition and locality. The activated buds are shown in the nearby bamboo bushes the propagation and plantation practices were demonstrated to the students.

Generally rhizomes and branch cutting saplings are used for propagation but seeds can also be used for Muli and some other bamboos. In the workshop, the methods were demonstrated and the traditional practices were emphasized. Chaitra (Mid March to Mid April) is considered as the best time for planting rhizomes. During plantation, rhizomes with 3-4 nodes to be placed at 45° angle towards north in 0.6m X 0.75 m pit and fix properly after ramming but need for fertilizer. During the workshop, the participants were practically demonstrated the plantation and propagation methods including branch cutting propagation method. Propagation through tissue culture was also discussed but the speakers Buy Acomplia pills claimed that, this method is practically not applicable in Bangladesh other than research purpose.

Bamboos must not be planted under the shade of other trees. Bamboo prefers acidic to neutral soil (pH 3 to 7) but do not grow in saline soil. Well drained and sandy loam to clayey loam soils are preferred but prolong water logging is harmful for the bamboos

Bamboo needs high sunshine and it is a high temperature tolerant crop. Some times wild fire starts from abrasion of bamboos. It is one of the pioneer crops of secondary forest. Bamboos uphold ground water table and bamboo clumps are considered as sanctuary of birds and rodents.

Usually natural bamboos like Muli and Kali etc. mature in two years but the cultivated Basti bamboos (Borak, Jai, Baijja, Bakal etc.) require 3 years. For felling, only the matured bamboos should selectively be felled. Immature bamboos give new shoots usually lies in the periphery.
October to end December (Kartik to Poush) is considered as the best time for bamboo extraction. After Poush, bamboo extraction is greatly discouraged as the bamboos are then preparing for new shoots.

Regarding diseases Dr AC Basak, Faculty of College of Agricultural Sciences pointed out that most of the dieback diseases of bamboo are caused due to excessive humus and water logging situation and lack of proper sanitation of the bamboo clumps.

He also mentioned the importance of intercropping in bamboos with yams, sweet potato, rattan canes, Murta, coffee and cassava, etc.

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Director, CGEC International University of Business Agriculture and Technology Bangladesh

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