As the fastest-growing land plant in the world, it can reach 41 ft within a year. Bamboo, which is a type of grass, creates up to 20 times more timber/ha than trees.
With mounting environmental concerns about the lack of sustainable forests, demand for bamboo is soaring. Producers claim they can double investors’ money in as little as five years, or grow it fourfold within 15.
Eco Planet Bamboo recently launched a “bamboo fund” for investors. David Cox, president of Eco Planet, says: ‘While you must wait at least 25 years for a tree to grow and be harvested, bamboo is ready in less than five years.’ A key appeal of bamboo is that it can be used for a wide range of products – from building materials to bio-fuels, and even clothes.
In Nicaragua, and the minimum investment is US$15 000 for 0.25 ha plot on which about 100 plants are grown. Investors are offered a guaranteed return of 7 percent of the amount invested in year one. They receive 8 percent on their initial investment in year two, followed by nine percent in year three. It is not until year four that the bamboo is ready for full harvest. Eco Planet Bamboo is not the only outfit in this specialist sector. Touch wood, which farms bamboo in Thailand, sells it in grass “clumps”. For full story, please see: www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-2005304/Bamboo-offers-green-shoots-opportunity.html
Facts and figures
There are enough commercial and environmental reasons why you should plant bamboo. Statistics show that after planting, one can start harvesting after four years. The solid bamboo can grow up to 24-30 m tall, 20-30 cm diameter, usually 2-2.5 cm thick-walled. Each crump is harvested once or twice a year. The minimum number of nine meters tall poles per harvest is approx. 20 to 35. A three meters pole can sell up to Ksh 2,500.
The solid bamboo can grow up to 6-10 m tall; 6-10 cm in diameter. It is a drought-resistant species of bamboo that can also grow even in savanna woodland, semi-arid wooded grassland and thicket.
Strategic planning for the next four years. Remember! Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world. They can grow up to four inches a day and you can harvest your bamboo forest for over 40 years. To the tea factories! this is your opportunity to develop your own forests and become self sufficient in bio fuel. Bamboo has been used as feed for cattle and other livestock for hundreds of years.
Is this real wealth? Indeed, it is! Apart from enjoying an improved ecosystem, a bamboo floor is now one of the most luxurious of all floors. While it may take over 100 years to replace a hardwood tree such as a Brazilian teak, bamboo reaches full maturity suitable for hardwood applications in about 4 years, and can actually regenerate without replacing or replanting.
In addition, bamboo plays a very valuable environmental role. Its complex root system, can act as a fantastic water filter, removing nutrients and dangerous poisons such as heavy metals and not get it into the food chain. As such, bamboo could have a lot to offer in the slum areas, where it can be used to clean up waste water, including the Nairobi river.