Bamboo, Climate Change and Agribusiness

It is now official, everyone who owns a piece of land in Kenya is required by law to have at least 10% under forest cover in a bid to save the country’s water towers. Currently, the forest cover occupies 1.2% of Kenya’s land below the UN threshold of 10%. Farmers need to be innovative to meet this benchmark fast and at the same time we can profit from this initiative.

Bamboo is the fastest growing tree/grass on the planet and I think it should be used to increase forest cover fast. Kenya Forest Research Institute encourages people to grow the giant bamboo species Dendrocalamus Giganteus, which grows to almost 100m in less than a year.

Kenya is currently bearing the brunt of climate change which is as a result of internal and external forces. Internally, we have cut our forest for charcoal, building materials and other purposes without replanting the trees and it is the reason why electricity prices have doubled since January through September. We need to take immediate action and it has to be now!

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Bamboo has been used for millenia by man for several reasons; food,  Medicine, building materials, textiles, making musical instruments. This means that there is a huge global market for bamboo especially in China whose supply of bamboo is getting smaller due to pollution and rapid urbanization. China is has the largest  Bamboo industry in the world.

Think Global Act Local!!

Several bamboo products are in high demand in Kenya e.g. furniture; chairs, tables, beds and there are many jobless craftsmen who can carve exquisite pieces with the bamboo to make some high value artifacts.

Bamboo is also used by many property developer instead of the usual timber and it is also used a lot by decorators to for finishing and flooring purposes meaning that bamboo is closely tied to the real estate boom in Kenya.

Lastly, Bamboo trees grow fast therefore a reliable carbon sink to absorb all the greenhouse gases choking mother nature. What do you think about bamboo? Please share your amazing thoughts on the comments section below…

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