Friday, 10 August 2012

Make 6m in three years from Fast Growing Giant Bamboo Farming in Kenya

The fast growing giant bamboo is a disease resistant plant which can flourish in Kenya’s arid zones making millions of shillings from an acre of wasteland. The fast growing giant bamboo could be the solution to Africa’s environmental and economic woes. It has numerous uses including building, making furniture, water purification and as a nutritious vegetable. This new venture can revolutionize the environmental conservation and benefits from traditional subsistence and commercial agriculture in the developing countries. The seedlings are are available from various innovative farmers. The seedlings can also be produced through tissue culture in a laboratory. Tissue culture is a biotechnology practice that produces seedlings through vegetative propagation, which is a form of asexual reproduction of seedlings.

The benefits of this plant cannot be underestimated as it prospers in a wide range of ecological conditions and can be produced virtually in all parts of Kenya, including areas with harsh environment. Seedlings for export should be grown on an internationally accepted media, packed and shipped accompanied by the requisite phytosanitary certificate’s .The plants lifespan is estimated to be about 40 years according to an experienced farmer.

50 plants are ideal for a small-scale farmer to start the project .The fast growing giant bamboo seedlings can be planted at a spacing of 5 by 5 metres. This gives a plant population of 160 seedlings per acre of land. The fast growing giant bamboo grows to about 1.2 metres in diameter, and 1.8 metres to three metres in height within three years. The crop requires minimal care making it easy to manage and profitable.

A single bush will produce about 300 stems per year, valued at Sh. 200 each, which can raise Ksh. 60,000. With two harvests per year, a farmer can make Ksh 6 million from 50 bushes. The plant has no adverse natural pests and diseases as it produces pest resistant chemicals. The fast growing giant bamboo takes only three years from seedling stage to maturity stage. The seedlings, as recommended by the forestry department, are sold when 60cm in height. The fast growing giant bamboo can go a long way to alleviate environmental degradation and climate change. Fast growing giant Bamboo plant can also be used as a renewable energy source especially in making charcoal briquettes preventing deforestation and providing fuel for home use and for sale.