Beema Bamboo

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    In Context 

    Recently, Beema Bamboo has been developed by N Bharathi of Growmore Biotech Ltd, the agri-technology company based at Hosur, Tamil Nadu. 

    • The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has designed an ‘oxygen park’ within its premises at Coimbatore with Beema Bamboo.

    About Beema Bamboo

    • It is a superior clone, selected from Bambusa balcooa which is a higher biomass yielding bamboo species.
      • This bamboo clone has been developed by the conventional breeding method.
    • This species is considered to be one of the fastest-growing plants. It grows one-and-a-half feet per day under tropical conditions. 
    • It is said to be the best ‘carbon sink’ to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions.
    • Benefits 
      • Provides permanent green cover:
        • As it is sterile, this bamboo does not produce any seed and does not die for several hundred years and It regrows after every harvest cycle and does not require replanting for decades.
          • As a result, this particular bamboo species will be able to establish a permanent green cover.
      • Adaptable  to different soil and climatic conditions:
        • The plants developed through tissue culture are free from pests and disease. The culms grow almost solid and adapt to different soil and climatic conditions
          • A culm is the hollow stem of a grass or cereal plant, especially that bearing the flower.
    •  Mitigates  global warming 
      • As its rhizome and root formation provide a strong foundation, the plant becomes robust against natural forces and plays a major role in mitigating global warming and climate change.
        • A fully-grown bamboo tree may generate over 300 kilograms of oxygen annually and it may be sufficient for one person for one year.
    • A four-year-old bamboo may absorb over 400 kg of carbon dioxide per annum from the surrounding areas. Bamboo raised on one acre can sequester 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
      • Beema Bamboo can be an excellent choice for making the earth greener and mitigating climate change.
    • Other uses 
      • The bamboo’s calorific value is equal to that of coal. Cement industries are buying this bamboo species for their boilers. Bamboo fibre is used by the textile industry for making fabric and garments.

    About Bamboo

    • A bamboo is a versatile group of plants that is capable of providing ecological, economic and livelihood security to the people.
    • It can be used in 1,500 different ways including food, a substitute for wood, building and construction material, for handicrafts and paper. Around 80 percent of bamboo forests lie in Asia with India, China and Myanmar.
    • In India, It has remained confined to the forests (12.8% of forest cover)two-third of the growing stock located in the North-Eastern States

    Benefits

    • The importance of the crop as a source of raw material for industrial and domestic use with its growing demand all over the country necessitated its cultivation in farmlands as well.
    • It can be a key crop to double farmers’ income, increase employment opportunities and improve the livelihood of the people, especially in the NorthEast region.
    • Biochar produced by anaerobic combustion of bamboo has a tremendous beneficial effect on soil health by increasing organic carbon.
    • Bamboo has tremendous untapped potential for transforming India’s rural economy.

    Bambusa balcooa 

    • It is a very large, thick-walled, clumping or sympodial bamboo, growing up to a height of 25 metres (80 feet), and a thickness of 150 millimetres (6 inches)
    • The length and strength of Bambusa balcooa make it a useful material for the construction industry.
    • It is a drought-resistant species with low rainfall requirements and can reach yields upwards of 100 metric tons per hectare.

    Government Initiatives in this aspects

    National Bamboo Mission

    • It is being implemented as a sub-scheme of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
    • The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is the nodal agency for its implementation 
    • It is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

    Amendment in The Indian Forest Act 

    • The Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in 2017 to remove bamboo for the category of trees.
    • This will now create a viable option for cultivation in 12.6 million hectares of cultivable waste land. It will encourage farmers and other individuals to take up plantation/block plantation of suitable bamboo species on degraded land, in addition to plantation on agricultural land and other private lands under the agro-forestry mission

    Clusters based approach

    • In September 2020 ,the Government launched  22 bamboo clusters in nine states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka — with each of them making different bamboo products to cater to both domestic and international markets.
    • These clusters will be engaged in raising nurseries and plantations, and development of bamboo products such as furniture, agarbatti, Venetian blinds, chopsticks, toothbrush, lifestyle products, jewellery, bottles, yoga mat and charcoal
    • It was adopted to promote use of bamboo and its export.

    Source : DTH