Kigali — Rwandan farmers have been fronted as
a priority group to benefit from a bamboo planting
fraternity spearheaded by the International Network
for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR).
This was revealed early last week by the visiting
INBAR Director General, J. Coosje Hoogendoorn,
who said that Rwanda has all it takes to gain
from the immense environmental
and economic benefits of bamboo trees.
The soil and weather are favourable for the growth
of bamboo trees and I am impressed that people
here have realized the importance
of bamboo trees," Hoogendoorn said.
Bamboo is one of the most productive and
fastest growing plants on earth and it offers
the possibility of annual selective harvesting
and removal of about 15-20 percent
of the total stock productivity.
Over 90 percent of bamboo carbon can be
sequestered in durable products such
as boards, floors, furniture, buildings,
cloth, paper and charcoal.
with the private sector federation, trying
to identify opportunities and projects
where people can
economically benefit from bamboo."
Bamboo trees play an important role
in controlling soil erosion, which is one
of the most outstanding problems
faced by farmers in Rwanda.
According to Hoogendoorn, INBAR
is partnering with China to provide
the capacity for bamboo processing.
She said INBAR is looking at conserving
the already existing bamboo trees as well
as introducing new species.
INBAR has a membership of 34 countries
and Rwanda is its current chairman.
Fredrick Munyansonga, the official charged
with bamboo planting in the forestry department,
revealed that this partnership is likely
to change lives of many people especially farmers.
"Bamboo planting has two inherently
important causes, conserving the soil
and alleviating poverty.
This cause should be taken seriously
because it's a total win-win undertaking," he said.
Around 1.5 billion people around the world depend
on bamboo in some way.
INBAR is an inter-governmental organization
established in 1997 with a role of finding and
demonstrating innovative ways of using bamboo
and rattan to alleviate poverty
and protect environments.
China is one of the world's leading countries benefiting
from bamboo production and processing.
It's also consumed as food sometimes.
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