Bamboo Cultivation Project
Bamboo is a flowering plant belonging to the family of Poaceae. It is a versatile, strong, renewable, permanent, evergreen and environment friendly plant that is grown for various purposes and is the fastest growing plant on earth. It can grow upto 60cm in a single day. Many of the bamboo varieties are incredibly hard which grows well in both tropical & cold climates. India is the 2nd largest producer of Bamboo plants next to China and is majorly produced in the North-Eastern states of India.
Bamboo is referred to as ‘poor man’s timber’ and is a commercially cultivated crop in India. It is used as a substitute of wood and is mainly used as construction material, furniture, pulp and plywood. Bamboo shoots are consumed as food which contains a rich source of nutrition.
In today’s time, the government is bringing many schemes to increase the income of the farmers and make them self-reliant. One of them is the cultivation of bamboo. Bamboo does not start giving income immediately after transplanting. After planting it you will have to wait for 3-4 years and then this crop will give you good yield again for 30 to 35 years continuously. The way the tree is being cut by looking at the demands of wood bamboo is taking its place as its secondary product. There is a good need for bamboo in the market. The demand for bamboo products is also increasing day by day.
To promote bamboo cultivation, the government is also giving grants, in which Rs 120 is being given to farmers per plant for planting bamboo nursery. so that he can increase his livelihood. This facility is being provided under the National Bamboo Mission.
Health Benefits of Bamboo
Bamboo is used in a variety of ways, from construction of buildings to making paper. But it has always been a nutrition staple for the Asian countries for centuries. The shoots of Bamboo have a lot of Vitamins and minerals stored in it, which makes it so healthy to consume.
Some of the health benefits are:
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Stimulates appetite
- Supports a low carb diet
- Provides Nutrients per serving
- Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Anthelmintic & Astringent properties
- It helps in the treatment of Rhinorrhagia
- Used for Culinary purposes
- Livestock fodder
- High Antioxidant, Anti bacterial, Anti cancerous & Anti diabetic property
- Used for treating Skin eruptions
Commercial Varieties of Bamboo in India
There are about 136 varieties of Bamboo species that are found in India, but only some of them are commercially viable. They are:
- Bambusa nutans
- Bambusa balcooa
- Bamboosa bambos
- Bambusa tulda
- Thyrsostachys oliveri
- Ochlandra travancorica
- Schizostachyum dullooa
- Melocanna bambusoides
- Oxytenanthera stocksii
- Bambusa pallida
- Bambusa vulgari
- Bambusa polymorpha
- Dendrocalamus strictus
- Dendrocalamus hamiltonii
- Dendrocalamus giganteus
- Dendrocalamus brandisii
In India Bamboo is majorly cultivated for commercial purposes and is estimated to be produced around 3.23 million tons of bamboo in a year. It is used for construction purposes and as a source of nutrition.
There has been an increased demand in bamboo based products and Bamboo is often termed as a commercial crop due to following reasons:
- It can be grown in a wide variety of soil & climate
- Harvesting can be done every year after the matur of one clump and it can provide regular returns
- It requires very little labour & maintenance
- It has many uses from handicrafts to engineered products
- It can grow easily, and has short rotation period of harvesting
- Harvesting can be staggered to cater the fluctuations in market demand
Bamboo plants can be cultivated in areas ranging from half an acre of land to a couple of hundred acres. Large commercial plantations are done in over 20 acres of land and small commercial plantations in 5-20 acres. These size for the plantation depends on following factors:
- Availability of Land
- Capital Investment
- Labour & Other Inputs availability
- Market demand
Cultivation of Bamboo has some basic requirements which need to be understood before plantation.
Here we will discuss these requirements one by one.
Bamboo plants grow well in temperate to warm climatic conditions, but they don’t prefer temperatures below 15° C. Bamboo plants have shallow roots as well as ample growth, but they should be protected from strong winds. The cold wind regions are not suitable for its growth as the winds can kill the tips of bamboo leaves.
Bamboo plants can be grown in a variety of soils except rock strewn soils, preferably on well drained sandy soil and clayey soils with a pH range of 4.5 to 6.0.
Bamboo propagation is done through culm cuttings or rhizomes and also through seeds. The seedlings are allowed to grow in poly pots for a year in a nursery bed. Then these seedlings are transplanted into the main field. Culms are recommended to be planted during the rainy season. Vegetative propagation is mostly practiced in many places.
The seedlings should be raised in a nursery for 1 year and should be planted at a distance of 5×4 metres in a pit dug with size 60×60 cm. The number of plants that can be accommodated in 1 acre of land is about 200.
The gestation period of bamboo plants is 5 years so the inter space can be used during the first 3 years of planting. They can cultivate intercrops like ginger, chillies and turmeric, or any aromatic or medicinal plants during this time to earn extra income.
- Manures & Fertilizers
Fertilizers are very important for the growth of any plants. Fertilizers can help get higher yield in bamboo cultivation, especially during transplanting the seedlings to the main field. It can be added at any time during the year but it is recommended to be added after harvesting and before irrigation. Bamboo plants being heavy feeders can be depleted if not fertilized properly. Fertilizers are recommended to be added in small doses round the year rather than a big dose at a time. The major components are Nitrogen & Potassium in Fertilizer. Green Manures, Organic compost, Wood ash & Chemical fertigation should also be applied. Around 300 to 400kg of lime is also added to 1 acre of land to neutralize the acidic property of soils.
Irrigation is to be done constantly during the growing period on nursery beds. At the time of transplantation, immediate irrigation is necessary. Heavy rains or flooding can cause water logging in bamboo plants as they are sensitive, so excess water should be drained out from the soil. Irrigation should be done according to the soil moisture and climatic conditions. Drip Irrigation is recommended and over watering is not preferred as it could change the tips of the leaves to turn into brown.
Weeds can be controlled by mulching. The transplanted plants should be mulched with 20cm depth using straw or hay with a diameter of 2m. Also, spread the soil on the top of mulch to protect from drying the soil.
- Weed Control
Hand weeding & Hoeing methods are mostly preferred for controlling the weeds. Mulching is also helpful in controlling weeds. Weed growth is enhanced because of sunlight, so providing shade and lowering the temperature on the ground could be helpful. Application of chemical weedicides could also help, and for this local agriculture department should be contacted.
- Pests & Diseases
Bamboo plants are affected by these common pests:
- Leaf biting
- Sucking insects
These pests could be controlled by application of appropriate pesticides contacting the agricultural department.
There are some diseases also that are found in Bamboo plants which affect about 24 species of bamboo. They are:
- Fusarium moniliforme
- F equiseti
- Culms blight
These diseases could also be controlled by applying appropriate chemical control measures.
Bamboo plants are harvested from the 5th year onwards and in commercial farming, it is harvested from the 6th year. In the first year of harvest i.e 6th year, 6 culms could be harvested, followed by 7 culms in the second year of harvest, 8 culms in the third year of harvest, and so on. The 1 or 2 year old culms are left for regeneration.
- Yield & Returns
The annual yield of bamboo plants depends upon the species and environment. On an average, the yield is about 9.5 to 10 tonnes per acre of land in the first year, considering the average weight of culms being 10kg. And this stabilizes at about 14.5 tonnes per acre in the 9th year.
Cost economics for Bamboo cultivation:
|Economics of Bambo cultivation for 1 Acre of Plot|
|1st Year Expanses||Expanses up to 5th year|
|1||Planting material (250 pcs of culm)||1||25000||Rs||25000|
|3||FYM / Compost||Composting||10||2500||Trolly||25000||5000|
|4||Conventional Fertilizer||DAP + Urea + Potash||1||22500||Set||22500||35000|
|5||Insecticides, Pesticides & Spraying||1||2500||Set||2500||5000|
|6||Irrigation & Electricity||1||2500||Set||2500||10000|
|Total Variable cost||85000|
|Investment on MIS||60000.00|
|a||Interest on MIS value @ 18%||10800.00|
|b||Depreciation @ 10%||6000.00|
|c||Maintenance @ 5%||3000.00|
|Total Fixed Cost||19800.00|
|Total Cost (A+B)||104800.00||69500|
|Note: This is a tentative rate considered. This may varies place to place. First year income will be nominal and it will be increases year by year up to 35th year.|
|Investment on first year||69500|
|1000 pcs will be sold out @ Rs. 100 each.||100000|
|Net profit on 1st year||30500|
|In consecutive 2nd third year you will get increased number of pcs and your profit will be multiplied.|
The unit cost of a bamboo plant is around ₹9400 for one acre of land, spread over 5 years. The harvesting starts from the 6th year and so the yield & income also starts from the 6th year which increases every year. Bamboo plants have faster growth which gives economic recurring returns year after year.
Bamboo plants produce excellent returns when they are managed properly and it provides employment to the local farmers as well.