July 05, 2017

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Bamboo cultivation improves livelihoods, health of rural people

Bamboo seedlings grow in a plantation in the Hlaing Yoma Mountain reserve forest. Photo: Tin Hla Maung
Bamboo seedlings grow in a plantation in the Hlaing Yoma Mountain reserve forest. Photo: Tin Hla Maung

THE cultivation of bamboo on both small and commercial scales can offer significant benefits to rural people’s livelihoods and health, said U Htein Win, the chairman of the Green Move Company, who also manages model plots of various kinds of bamboo in the Hlaing Yoma Mountain reserve forest beside the Taikkyi-Phaunggyi-Bago road.
In order to sell bamboo seedling plantations and raise the number of bamboo cultivations, the Ministry of the Environmental Conservation and Forestry has rented out 175 acres of land under a 30-year contract to the Green Move Company. At present, the company grows Kahlway bamboo, a kind of the silk bamboo that grows around the area of Dawei District, and Kyahlwut bamboo from Pang Long Township. The company aims to sell 70,000 silk bamboo seedlings to bamboo planters.
There are 25 species of bamboo in Myanmar, 18 of which the company is cultivating for research purposes.
The aim of planting bamboo trees in this area to popularise bamboo cultivation among farmers, as it has a huge profit potential.
“Most people in Myanmar don’t know to make profits from commercially cultivating bamboo trees,” said U Htein Win, the chairman of the Green Move Company and a member of the Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Association.
He added: “There is lack of bamboo farmers who plant bamboo in a systematic way, and we have to plant the bamboo systematically in future. Now, visitors within Myanmar and from abroad come to study our bamboo plantations. Foreign experts are training amateurs from villages nearby and all over the country in bamboo cultivation free or charge.
Bamboo can also add significant solutions to environmental problems to its list of successes.
Bamboo absorbs more carbon dioxide, and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than an equivalent grove of hardwood trees.
So, bamboo would undoubtedly help the environment, and the health of the people.—Soe Win (SP)

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