BAMBOO FARMING, AS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT

Bamboo’s untapped potential to restore degraded lands and forests, store carbon and supply energy to millions of rural communities is immense.

I would urge farmers to first know where they can sell the produce, before engaging themselves in this kind of farming. When planting, a space of six feet by six feet should be left.

Bamboo plants normally take 3 to 4 years to mature.

Bamboo is a self-regenerating plant. When harvested, new shoots emerge and replace them in a period of 3-4 months. Unlike timber where the crop rotation occurs over several years, bamboo can be harvested annually over a 20+ year period, this ensures a continuous and sustainable supply.

The beauty of bamboo plants is that they can grow in any region where maize, wheat or any other crop that belongs to the grass family thrives. Below are some quick tips for choosing the ideal piece of land for planting bamboo:

  • Well-drained soil; not in a swampy area
  • Spacious piece of land with adequate sunlight
  • Spacing of 5ft in between plants
  • Moderate supply of rainfall
  • Soil pH – 6.5 – 8 pHBamboo plants

BAMBOO CLIMATE REQUIREMENTS

Climate conditions play a pivotal role in the success of a commercial bamboo plantation. Several climatic variables are considered by our team prior to establishing farm operations in a given location, taking into account annual average rainfall, hours of sunlight per year, humidity, wind speed, latitude, and importantly the average annual temperature.

Temperature

Bamboo is an extremely adaptable species in terms of temperature, although for optimal results the tropical climates found across Asia and the Americas provide the perfect environment for clumping bamboo to thrive.

The average annual temperature within these regions ranges from 20°C and 26°C, whilst bamboo can remain productive in temperatures as high as 36°C.

Precipitation

A locations average annual rain fall / precipitation levels are the single most important factor for bamboo production. Tropical climates above all offer an even distribution of rain fall over the course of the year, this allows.

For high water table levels within soil which is key to the development of the species particularly during dry periods.

Wind

Understanding the wind speed within the potential growing area is essential before establishing a plantation. Wind speeds over 75 km per hour can create crop development issues to bamboo plantations. Optimal wind speeds are typically around 15 km per hour.

Wind speeds over 75 km per hour can cause mechanical damage within the bamboo, leading to breakage of the younger stems with mature poles falling prematurely.

Sunshine

To thrive, bamboo requires areas approximately 2000 hours of light per year.

Optimum growth rates are achieved with more light, continuously cloudy conditions naturally has a negative impact on plantation development.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS

Most bamboo thrives in well-drained, deep, fertile soils, and typically prefers neutral to moderately acidic soils. To improve growing conditions, you can add additional organic material such as compost, manures, bark chips and peat to the plantation.

This management practice ensures moisture and acidity is retained within the soil, whilst also offering nutrition to the plants.

Drainage is also an important aspect of our plantation management process, overly damp or fully submerged soil conditions can damage the roots

 

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