BEEMA BAMBOO (Bambusa Balcooa)
belong to the grass family known as Poaceae. Hence, it also known as the giant
woody plant with grass and “GREEN GOLD”.
They are evergreen and highly versatile trees. Also, bamboos are capable to
grow on variety of soils from different parent rocks. It is a form of a grass
which differ according to its species varying up to 8 inch in diameter. They
also differ according to the size if the culms. Also the size, shape and
texture of the culms are different as per the varieties of species, some have
thorny culms and others have striping patterns. Similar to the culms, leaves
can also be different size, shape and texture (fuzzy or rough i.e., almost
dangerous to handle).
production of bamboo is highest in China which contributes about 65%of total
world production. India stands second after China in bamboo production because
bamboo in India is not only grown in the forest region but also in small
villages. Assam produces the maximum number of bamboo in India which has
capacity to substitute wood in the coming years. It is roughly estimated that
about 4.6 million tonnes of bamboo is produced in India annually out of which
approximately 1.9 million tonnes is used in the pulp industries.
is believed that there are about 1400 species of bamboo all over the world out
of which there are 22 genera that has been cultivated in India. From the 22
species grown, 19 are native to India and 3 are exotic species. Though the
bamboo is a flowering plant, its flowering frequency depends upon the species. Below
are the some of the species that has taken over in India.
It is commonly
called as the “Beema Bamboo”
which is native to Indian sub-continent. It is mostly found in West Bengal and
north east region of India. The common name used in Assam as Bhaluka, West
Bengal as Balku and Wamnah in Meghalaya. It has a very thick walled tree and culmping
bamboo. It is also a fast growing and thorn less tree with high biomass content
(energy value-4500 kcal/kg).
Beema bamboo has a
capacity to grow up to height of 25 meters (80 feet) and diameter of 8-15 cm (6
inches) with dark green culms. The culms length varies from 12-20 cm and
internode length ranges from 20-40 cm. The leaves are on an average 15-30cm
long and 25-50 mm broad. Due to its thorn
less characteristics it makes harvesting easier.
Bambusa Vulgaris (common bamboo)
CULTIVATION OF BEEMA BAMBOO
conditions: Beema bamboo can
be grown in a large ranging climatic conditions from tropical to temperate. Nevertheless,
it gives maximum production and healthy growth in tropical and sub-tropical
climate (approximately 3 inches/day). The altitude for bamboo must be at the
sea level up to 600 m. Though beema bamboo is adaptable and hardy plant they
have least capacity to tolerant of water stagnation condition during the 1st
year of growth. The amount of rainfall require must not be less than 1200
mm/year. The humidity ought to be between 75-85% with a wind velocity less than
80 km/hr. higher wind velocity can cause problems in development stage.
requirement: The best yield of
beema bamboo is found in deep, well-drained and fertile soils with good
drainage. They usually prefer neutral to acidic soil with pH ranging from 4.5
to 6. However, beema bamboo can be grown in wide range of soils from black
cotton soil to degraded soil except for rock-strewn soils. The soil having high
water table also works best for bamboo.
Preparation: The land ought to
be free of bushes, grasses and other unwanted plants. In order to get better
drainage system the land must be ploughed thoroughly and as deeply as possible.
The beema bamboo water requirement is similar to that of sugarcane for maximum
growth. Although, it does not like to get submerged in water or in wet feet
condition. For sowing the seedlings
the land must be prepared with the pits and nutrients. The excavated soil from
the pit is filled at the bottom of the pits whereas the top of the pits are
filled with FYM (farm yard manure).
The size of pits are according to the areas.
For heavy rainfall areas pits of size 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm are dug whereas for
well rooted seedlings 30cm x 30cm x 30cm size pits are dug. For scanty rainfall
pits of size 1m are dug to prevent micro catchment. The spacing between the seedlings ought to be 3 x 1.2 m which
accommodates about 2500 plants/ha.
Propagation and Planting: The right season to plant beema bamboo is
usually as soon as the monsoon begins, under rain fed conditions. For
propagation of bamboo it can be done with seeds, wildings, offsets, cutting and
tissue cultured plants. However, it must be first raised in the nursery before
transplanting it to the field. As mentioned above bamboo does bare flowers in
rare species after 30-40 years of duration due to which propagation with seeds
is not practiced for larger areas. Propagation by seeds grows seedling within
8-12 months which needs more water and nutrient supply.
The most common ad traditional method used for
propagation is bamboo offset also called as vegetative propagation. The offset
is the lower part of the bamboo culms with 3 to 5 nodes, rhizome and roots
together. The offset required much care. The offset of 1 year ought to be dug
and cut into 1 m size and can be planted.
The culm cuttings and rhizome can also be
propagated which are raised in nursery bed for a year and later the seedlings
can be transferred to main field. The poly bag having seedlings are carefully
cut ensuring that the root ball does not break.
Intercultural Operations: Weed growing in the field prevents the growth
of bamboo by absorbing the nutrients. Therefore, regular weeding is
recommended. About 60 cm of area around the bamboo should be kept free from
weeds. In dry areas or less rainy areas, mulching helps to prevent soil water
evaporation. Mulching is also beneficial for the bamboo shoots to prevent from
direct sunlight which improves shoot quality.
Also, the unnecessary culms are to be removed
to promote the growth of healthy shoots. Intercropping can also be done during
the first 3 years of planting bamboo.
Fertilizers, Pesticides and Diseases: Bamboo does require excess nutrients and
constant supply. For such constant supply, 13:13:13 special fertilizer is used
which gives bamboo a constant supply of nitrogen and potassium slowly into the
soil. The nitrogen gives the green color to the bamboo and also the healthy
growth of new shoots. To reach the maximum growth of the culmps of bamboo
macronutrient silica is used.
The bamboo are mostly attacked by the fungi,
which attacks the rhizome and culms of the plants. The most common pests that
attack are the defoliators, sap suckers and shoot and culm borers. The regular
checking of pest presence is required to control it and prevent the usage of
various chemical pesticides harmful for the plant growth.
The disease are categoriesed according to the
growth stages of plants:
Bamboo stands (new culms)
Rot of emerging culms
Causes in high rainfall areas.
Removal of the culmps before the
onset of monsoon (March-April)
Rot of growing culms
Sap oozing out due to more soaking
Infection spread results in testing
and bending od culms.
§ Spraying insecticide, monocrotophos 0.5% a.i.
§ By application of Bavistin or Mancozeb at 0.2% on infected
Premature death of culms which
slowly spreads downwards.
§ Cutting and removal of blight bamboo culms.
§ Application of carbendazim combined with mancozeb
(carbendazim 0.25% a.i. + mancozeb 0.3% a.i.)
Emergence while it is succulent.
Adopting proper nursery practices
Seeds dressing with fungicides is
Effects the 20-30 days old
Seedling stems discoloration and
Application of fungicide Carboxin
Death of the seedlings
§ Dusting Sulphur based fungicides
§ Avoiding shade over nursery beds.
For more information on diseases management
7) Irrigation: On the nursery beds, the irrigation must be
done regularly. Irrigate the bamboo immediately after transplanting. It is
noticed that water stagnation doesn’t work well for bamboo plants hence
draining the soil during heavy rainfall is must. It is suggested to water the
plants regularly during the 1st few months because the plants take
time to establish in to the soil. After the plants gets firm, the irrigation
can be done at intervals and increase as per time.
8) Harvesting: The harvesting of bamboo plants can be started
at the fifth year. In case if the plantation is done for commercial use,
harvesting id carried out from the sixth year. At the time of 1st
harvest usually 6 culms can be harvested followed by 7 culms in the second
harvest and soon. The harvesting of culms must be done for the center in order
to let the new culms produce outward. Also, it is taken care that the strong culms
are left so they can support the upcoming new culms and prevent them from
bending. Culm cutting is suggested to be done during the dry seasons and not
during rains. A sharp knife or saw can be used for harvesting of bamboo.
Preserving the harvested bamboo
becomes necessary to prevent them from decaying and attacking by powder post
beetles. There are some chemical and non-chemical ways in order to store the
harvested bamboo as mentioned below:
bamboos with water repellents ca prevent it from mould, insects and rots.
Also, to avoid
fungi, painting bamboo’s with slaked lime is useful which delays water
bamboo in mud or stagnant water creates a resistant to the borers. After which
it can be dried in shades.
To increases the
self-life of culms, the bottom part of it ought to be soaked in preservative
solution (10% copper sulphate).
the spacing 3 x 1.2m about 1000 plants can be planted per acre.
of bamboo plant= Rs. 100
of manure and fertilizer required = 17kg/plant (approximately)
of manure and fertilizer = Rs. 25 /kg
the cost of planting material, fertilizers, drip irrigation, manures, labour charge, harvesting cost and other miscellaneous cost = Rs.
1,50,000 to 2,00,000/ acre.
The no of culms
from 1 acre of land = 4000-4800 (approximately considering 10 % morality rate)
Weight of each culm
= 15 kg
Tonnes of bamboo
in an acre = 60-70 tonnes
Cost of each culms
= Rs. 70-150 (varies according to place and quantity)
Gross income from
culms per acre =Rs. 4,00,000-Rs. 5,00,000
Net income= Rs. 2,50,000 to Rs. 3,00,000
In the sixth year the no. of culms increases
and simultaneously the income increases as compared to the 5th year.
For the following years also the yield increases therefore it is said that
bamboo is a cash crop with low gestation period and faster growth, which gives
high economic returns every year.
other trees bamboo also has many construction benefits and other uses. Some of
them are mentioned below:
Stems used for
building houses, roads, bridges, baskets, fishing floats, agricultural
implements in villages.
· Culms are used as
raw material in wood chip industries, paper industries and scaffolding.
Leaves are used
In Some parts
young shoots are used as vegetable to eat.
Bamboo used as sustainable biomass energy
As per the uses above, it is mainly used in wood
and paper industries as raw materials and also biomass conversion. Not only in
industries for personal uses in villages is it also used for maintaining the
regular lifestyle with the construction of houses, bridges and other
implements. Generally it is only used as locally and sold to the local
is a National Bamboo Mission that has been going on across India which has many
small business of bamboo products. For more information visit www.nbm.nic.in/
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