You are on page 1of 2


Continuation of advantages • An acre of land will produce charcoal worth about Kes 73,000 per year, in an arid region in Kenya. • Charcoal is big business in Africa. According to the World Futures Council, 80% of Africans rely on wood or charcoal for energy and 4 million hectares of forest are felled each year on the continent, twice the world average. For many, there is no alternative. Bamboo forests are the only sustainable charcoal production source in Africa. Growth and development: A single shoot, which may reach 1m in height, is produced in the first year from a rhizome. From the third season onwards, several shoots are produced annually. Rhizomes penetrate 30cm in 3 years. On one acre, you can plant up to 88 seedlings with a spacing of 5 m by 5 m square. Stems reach 1.2cm in diameter and 1.8–3.0m in height within a few years of germination, reaching full height and diameter in 4–8 years. New stems break through the soil surface in the rainy season. Extensive growth slows down after 3– 4 weeks, and ceases after 2–4 months. New shoots appear at the peripheries of clumps. Clump longevity is estimated 40 years. The stems mature in 3 years and may survive for 8 years, but they are over-mature and unsuitable for harvesting from 6 years of age onwards. This species is rarely managed systematically, but weeding of newly established clumps and the removal of overhead shade is recommended. Clump diameters range from 1m to 8m, and clumps may contain 20–100 (exceptionally up to 200) stems. Since ancient times, this woody plant has

been a vital resource for communities living in semi-arid regions. Diseases: Leaf rust (Kweilingia divina, synonym: Dasturella divina) which can be controlled using any broad spectrum fungicide.


(Solid bamboo)

Solid bamboo

The culms of Oxytenanthera abyssinica are solid in the lower internodes, and hollow from the upper half to the top of the culm. The full length of a mature culm is between 10–15m tall and up to 10cm in diameter. Usually, young culms are semi solid when young but solid in older culms. “It is among 38 priority bamboos of economic imprtanceINBAR.” To assure our clients outside Kenya, all our bamboo seedlings are planted on an internationally accepted media, and will be packed and sent to you accompanied by the requisite phytosanitary certificate. The orders should reach you in just a few hours, fresh and ready for immediate planting.

The bamboo seedling can sow a future of prosperity - INBAR

Kitil Farm HQ, Isinya, Kajiando District P.O.Box 762-00606 Sarit Centre, Nairobi, Kenya Tel: 254 722729630 Fax: 254 20 4347094 E-mail:; Web site:

Oxytenanthera abyssinica Botanical description: Oxytenanthera abyssinica (lowland bamboo) is a clump forming, solid stemmed bamboo, occurring from sea-level up to 2000m altitude, but mainly at 300–1500m. It is a drought resistant shrub or small tree which grows in Savannah woodland and in semi-arid wooded grassland. The dense clump consists of 20–100 (exceptionally up to 200) stems (culms) between 10–15m tall and up to 10cm in diameter with internodes of 32cm. It grows in areas with a minimum annual rainfall of between 350 and 800 mm. Average annual temperatures should be 20 to 27°C, with monthly average daily maxima of 30 to 36°C and daily minimal of 7 to 17°C. Due to its solid nature, this bamboo is known for its quality raw material for building, making household and commercial products, fencing poles and pulp. It is a plant with nutritional value and its young shoots can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable, while the foliage can be used as animal fodder. Cultivation requirements: This solid bamboo grows in part shade to full sun (preferably full sun), grows on all types of soils from various types of parent rock, soil 6.5 pH - 8 ph, sandy loam to clay loam, sandy soils, and tolerates very poor soils with normal moisture-retentive to moist with good drainage. Well adapted to long dry seasons and uncertain rainfall patterns. Soil fertility is not a major influence. Cultivation manual by UNIDO. Bamboo stands out among woody plants in so many respects. It offers a great variety of uses and possesses excellent qualities which are not found in other plants. In terms of rate of growth it grows faster than timber trees. The culms

mature at an early age of 4 to 5 years, making the cutting age relatively short. Bamboo, nicknamed the wonder plant, is the strongest and fastest growing woody plant on earth, and supplies a global trade worth an estimated US$2 billion per year There are enough commercial and environmental reasons why you should plant bamboo. Advantages of this bamboo: • Plantations of O. Abyssinica can be a continuous source of bamboo charcoal briquettes for household cooking to prevent deforestation, firewood for tea factories, pulp for paper industries, hardboard, particle board and pulpwood pipes, crates, fish-traps, horticultural or garden stakes, canoe poles, arrow and spear shafts, leaves as fodder, plants for hedges, windbreaks, as ornamental plants, soil erosion control and rehabilitation of degraded sites, biomass production, carbon credit for major investors, etc. • High volume of quality raw material for building, manufacture of wooden products like tiles and, parquet floors, tooth picks, matchsticks, incense-sticks, scaffolding, sleepers, flower/horticultural stands, industrial wood for energy, e.g. in tea factories. This clump-forming bamboo grows with a robust rhizome of up to 10 cm in diameter, highly suitable for fencing poles. Its shoots are edible while the voliage can be used as animal fodder. Sap from shoot tips is used for brewing alcoholic drinks ("ulanzi", 5 - 5.5% alcohol) similar in taste to beer.

It is also recorded to be used as medicine. Rhizomes used in treating dysentery, leaves in treating diabetes, colic and rheumatism, roots in treating skin diseases, leaf decoction in treating polyuria, oedema and albuminuria. Bamboo plays a very valuable environmental role. Its complex root system, can act as a fantastic water filter, removing dangerous poisons such as heavy metals and not allowing them to get into the food chain. It can be used for bamboo-based board applications such as particle boards, medium density fiber board and strand boards as well as for pulp and paper manufacture A processing plant can produce a panel board of 4.8cm x 5m and up to 300 panel boards per day. Each board will sell at $12.75 amounting to a daily sale of Kes 313,650. The total labor and material cost for one panel is $5.09. It is estimated that this bamboo species can yield 10-33 tons of dry stems per hectare per year. A pure stand of Oxytenanthera abyssinica contains up to 750 clumps and 30,000 stems per hectare. Each clump is harvested once or twice a year. The minimum number of nine meters tall poles per harvest is approx. 20-35. Each pole can sell for up to Kes 200. This superbamboo can produce a total biomass of 19,000 kg/ha and upto 9-10 tons of charcoal per hectare per year in areas with a minimum rainfall of 350 - 800 mm. The charcoal industry is a multi-billion dollar concern and a large market exist in EU, USA and Asia with prices ranging from $170 to $300 per ton. In South Africa, smaller packs in sold paper bags and cartons fetch even higher returns. Continue over leaf