1. Agriculture World

Commercial Cultivation of Bamboo Begins in Karnataka’s Coastal Region

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Bamboo Cultivation
Bamboo Cultivation

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh has distributed about 10000 tissue-cultured bamboo plants in the last year in the coastal region of Karnataka. Due to the risk of yellow leaf disease spreading in the areca plantations, farmers in the coastal region of the state have now begun commercial cultivation of bamboo on a small scale.

MG Satyanarayana, union’s director and convener, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, has taken the initiative and distributed 10000 tissue cultured bamboo plants from Bhatkal to Kasaragod (Kerala) in the previous year. Most of the farmers have taken it up as frontline farming except for one who has cultivated them as an orchard.

He informed that the saplings have been sourced from a recognized tissue culture institute. 

Sathyanarayan further said that the Sangh has taken the lead as bamboo cultivation will not only be the best option for the farmers whose plantations have been affected by Yellow Leaf Disease, its cultivation also assists in maintaining the level of water. Bamboo helps in preserving rainwater. Now, there’s no legal obstacle for farmers practicing commercial cultivation & sale of bamboo.

Trials to utilize it as a source of energy are also underway, said Satyanarayana, who has planted about 250 bamboo plants.

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh has distributed six commercially important varieties in the region. They are Bambusa balcooa (Bheema bamboo), Dendrocalamus asper (Giant bamboo or vegetable bamboo), Bambusa nutans, Dendrocalamus brandisii (Burma bamboo), Bambusa tulda (Bengal bamboo), and Dendrocalamus hamiltonii (Tama bamboo used for making furniture).

Furthermore, Satyanarayana said that Dendrocalamus asper (locally called Kanile) can be harvested six times a year. Now it is priced at Rs 200 per kg in the local market places.

When cultivated commercially, the harvest can be started from the fifth year of planting, by feeding fertilizers and water together with weed management. The life span of the cluster will be 30 years or the harvest can be done up to three decades. He said that it should be well-taken care of in the first three years of planting.

“A net profit of Rs 1.20 lakh per year can be earned from one acre of the plantation. The market price is now Rs 4,000 per tonne,” he highlighted.

Choudappa, Vice-Chancellor of BEST Innovation University, Anantapur said that some varieties can be harvested from three-and-half years after planting. Bamboo is best suited for coastal and Malnad regions as an alternative crop in yellow leaf disease-affected areca plantations.

Industries involved in manufacturing incense sticks need Bambusa Tulda. The agarbatti industry also requires bamboo powder. Additionally, there’s a demand for bamboo charcoal & bamboo briquettes, informed P. Choudappa, who was earlier a director of Central Plantation Crop Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, Kerala.

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