Bamboo farming in Tanzania could help offset deforestation, reduce the cost of carbon emissions and its fast-growing qualities as a wood substitute could help create new industry and jobs in Tanzania, according to a report in All Africa.
Considered stronger than many hardwoods, bamboo is a tree-like grass that can grow three feet a day with very little water and fertilizer, making it a highly renewable resource, according to Lou Yiping, Director of the Center for China-Africa Agriculture & Forestry.
Bamboo products proved the best substitute for wood in China, Yiping said in the report. Yiping addressed representatives from 45 different countries in March during a presentation in Dar es Salaam to mark International Wood Day.
The center acts as an interface between researchers and stakeholders in China and Africa to promote exchange, research and technology transfer in forestry and agriculture. It emphasizes both bamboo and tea for protecting the environment and alleviating poverty, according to the report.
The economic value of bamboo in China was about $15 billion in 2010, Yiping said. There are more than 6,500 bamboo shoots factories and bamboo processing enterprises in China. More than 4.5 million people are employed in bamboo industry.
Read more at All Africa.