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Friday, June 19, 2009

A bamboo for global warming

Taiyebpura, a small village in Matar taluka of Kheda district, has become a centre of attraction for farmers, environmentalists and the forest officials of the Gujarat government. Taiyeb Mohammed Zamindar, an 80-year-old farmer of the village, has become an advisor to many other farmers.

All this has happened because of the bamboo plants that Zamindar had planted 15 months ago in 25 acres of land. Usually, bamboo grows in forests, but Zamindar has succeeded in achieving this feat in an area where major crops are wheat and paddy. Bamboo, as a farm crop, takes at least four to five years before it is ready for harvest. However, Zamindar's bamboo crop will be ready next year. This is considered record time considering the local climate and soil conditions. The bamboo variety planted in Taiyebpura is bambusa balcooa. It is a clumping bamboo of Indian origin. The main advantage (of bamboo farming) is that farmers need not worry about any damage to the crop. It is simple and needs only water and manure

The bamboo farming project was carried out under the guidance of Dr N Bharathi, who is advisor to the Central and state governments on bamboo. He is also an advisor to Gujarat Bamboo Mission, and MD Growmore Biotech Ltd Bangalore, which has been the force behind the farming of the plant in Taiyebpura.

Bamboo is a no-death plant. It is an answer to global warming, as it absorbs the highest amount of carbon. Its growth is fast because of the absorption of carbon from the atmosphere and this makes it good for the environment as well.

According to the India's National Bamboo Mission, the size of the domestic bamboo industry is about Rs 6,505 crore and it is estimated to grow to Rs 26,000 crore by 2015. However, despite it being a big domestic industry, India has failed to make a mark in the global market.

The world bamboo industry is worth 10 billion dollars of which China's share is nearly 50 per cent. The world market for bamboo is expected to reach about 20 billion dollars by 2015.

Ref: Kamran Sulaimani, Yahoo News, Jun 18, 2009