Using Bamboo, a grass variety that has been known to man for a very long time is a step in the right direction. Bamboo has been used for almost everything, from using it as food to using it for building bridges. It is an amazing plant variety that has a lot to offer.
Here are 7 reasons why Bamboo Farming Can Save the Environment:
- Renewable resource: It is one of the fastest growing renewable resources. Compared to other hardwood trees such as the oak tree, bamboo only takes 5 years to be harvested. Bamboo is one versatile plant variety that can tackle the loss of acres of forest due to deforestation.
- Reduce global warming: Cultivation of bamboo in large volume can help absorb the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. It also absorbs carbon dioxide and releases about 35% of oxygen as compared to hardwood trees.
- Fast growth rate: Bamboos has an amazing growth rate. There are some species of bamboo that grow more than 3 feet every day! There is no plant on earth that has such a fast growth rate! When harvested, a new shoot grows from its extensive root system which is why bamboos do not need additional cultivation system.
- Extremely useful: During harvest season, almost every part of the bamboo is used! It is eaten as a food item, used as soil-enriching mulch, to making beautiful furniture. Bamboo plants are also versatile as it used for making paper, flooring, charcoal, building materials etc. Every part of bamboo can be utilized.
- Low maintenance: Unlike other cash crop plants such as cotton, bamboo plants do not require fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. It draws natural nitrogen from the soil and does not add any chemicals to the soil.
- Prevents soil erosion: Even after the harvest season, the extensive root system of a bamboo plant remains in the same place and prevents the topsoil from erosion. Thus, it helps retain nutrients for the next crop!
Grows in various conditions: Bamboo are plants that can grow in various conditions. Bamboo plants help preserve moisture in the soil and can grow in arid regions where droughts occur frequently and crops fail to grow. It can also grow in low wetlands, high elevated mountain areas, and in a wide range of climates.
Furthermore, bamboo farming can bring about economic stability. Production of bamboo and manufacturing different bamboo products can provide job opportunities to the less privileged folks.
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Bamboo resource in Meghalaya
Meghalaya is a state where the bamboo forest is abundant and its multiple purposes play a vital role in the social and economic development of the local folks. The livelihood of a significant amount of population depends on making handicrafts made from bamboo.(Source)
Bamboo forests in the state have diverse species base which includes clump forming as well as non-clump forming types. It has been reported that 36 species of bamboo from 14 genera are found in Meghalaya (Biswas, 1988).
The important clump forming species include is the Dendrocalamus strictus, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii , Bambusa arundinacea, Bambusa pallida, Bambusa tulda, whereas Melocanna bambusoidesimportant non-clump forming species. (Source)
The autonomous district council (ADC) looks after the large bamboos forest in Meghalaya. Its constitutes 4.4% of the total geographical area of the government controlled reserved and protected forest. But regular harvest of bamboo has been prescribed in the working plans of the reserved and protected forest.