When I say the word ‘Bamboo’, a tall tree like grass comes to your mind but can you imagine that this plant can play a vital role in the economy of a country. Before getting into that topic let me tell you some interesting facts about the plant.
The origin of the word bamboo comes from the Malay word ‘Mambu’. Even though normally called as bamboo trees but it is considered as a tall grass species and it is the only grass species which can diversify as a forest. There are 1575 identified species of bamboo in 111 different genera. It is a fastest growing plant. It is said that bamboo groves also survives the radiations of bombing in Hiroshima, Japan when all the other trees were destroyed. It is the most important non timber forest product
Now getting back to the topic, bamboo has been the talk of the nation for its potential of changing the lives tribal communities. The government plans to set up 100 ‘van dhan’ centers as a part of UNCCD ( United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification). UNCCD is the legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. Bamboonomics is viewed as a solution to climate change, environmental degradation and poverty. This will involve the tribal people to make products from bamboo and build a market for bamboo charcoal. In India, the north eastern states have increased bamboo plantation. These centers will help around five lakh tribals by creating a market for bamboo charcoal thus increasing the employment. This would also help in improving the economy of many tribal families by providing them regular income, thus supporting their livelihood.
Bamboo is an important crop which has many advantages.
- It helps in mitigating climate change and fights desertification.
- It has higher carbon dioxide sequestration potential.
- It can also help in restoring soil fertility of degraded land.
- The use of bamboo is vast from a food source to building material. It is used as linings for irrigation systems.
- It also helps in controlling soil erosion.
- Bamboo fabric products are also widely used. It is also used as a material for flooring.