Bamboo was not considered very profitable. What has changed?
- Bamboo product manufacturers have installed more automated machines for processing. So, there is more demand for bamboo.
- In addition to the domestic market, now there is increasing demand for export of bamboo shoots to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and other countries.
- You can now get high yielding plants by tissue culture method.
- Thorns cause problems while farming and harvesting. Now you can get thornless varieties for planting.
- Bamboo used to be labor intensive. More tools are being developed to aid farmers.
- During the year 2007–08, 200 farmers have been trained in bamboo cultivation at Forest College Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu. During the year 2008–09, there are plans to train 2300 farmers under advanced technology bamboo cultivation.
Other benefits of bamboo cultivation:
- Bamboo can yield as much as 20 times more timber than other trees for the given size of land.
- Unlike most tropical hardwood species, which take about 30 years to mature, bamboo shoots and culms (stems) can be harvested at about three to four years after planting.
- Bamboo thrives on degraded land.
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