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Why bamboo?

Bamboo seedling can sow a future of prosperity. A plantation of bamboo can be a sustainable source of Wealth. There will soon be huge demand for bamboo. For your information, some manufacturing factories in Kenya will soon be migrating from the regular use of hydro-electric power to bamboo as a source of energy or biomass. Currently, one of these factories has requested a supply of over 30 tons of bamboo daily. Internationally, we have many requests for bamboo fiber. Various companies in clothing and pulp manufacturing are looking for an average of 15,000 metric tons a month. Yes, you are reading that correct! Bamboo is the timber of the 21st century.

What is bamboo?

It is a term to a group of over 1250 species of grass varying from small to giant, timber bamboos 30m in height. Bamboo, a wonder plant, is the strongest and fastest growing woody plant on earth, with a global trade worth US$2 billion per year. Bamboo is in everyday use by about 2.5 billion people, mostly for food and shelter. Literature on bamboo productivity is scarce.

How many bamboo species are there?

There are 1250 species of bamboo globally and 18 in Kenya. At Kitil Farm, we have a wide selection of various bamboo species of high economic importance. These bamboo species are among the 38 priority bamboos of economic importance recommended by INBAR and UNEP in "Bamboo biodiversity" in 2003, and have been tested and grown by KEFRI, and approved for plantation in Kenya.

Is bamboo affected by diseases?

A seedling is sometimes affected by Leaf rust Kweilingia divina, use any broad spectrum fungicide. Its useful to spray seedlings with a fungicide that has both protective and curative properties.

Is there a solid bamboo?

Yes!! O. abyssinica is a solid stemmed bamboo. A stem is 10 to 15m tall and up to 4 inches in diameter. Equally, the culms of Dendrocalamus stictus, tend to be semi solid at the base. Both species are drought resistant species.

Is there a giant bamboo?

Yes!! The following species are giant bamboos and seedlings are available in Kitil Farm:

Dendrocalamus membranaceus cv. grandis
Dendrocalamus maximuslamina
Dendrocalamus giganteus
Dendrocalamus stictus
Dendrocalamus asper
Dendrocalamus barbatus

Other bamboo species of high economic importance and high in biomass include the following:

Bambusa longinternode
Phyllostachys pubescens (moso)

Apart from plantation bamboo, does Kitil Farm also stock ornamental bamboo species?

Kitil Farm has the most beautiful, very rare, hardy and non-invasive ornamental bamboo, conducive for both indoor and outdoor use, offices, apartments, shopping malls, schools and universities. Bamboo is considered as a good luck plant, a reason why every house and apartment should have one. Just remember that what is referred in the internet as "Lucky bamboo” is not a bamboo but a weed, and it will never grow to become a bamboo. In philosophy, we say "Something proceeds from that which is its nature". Bamboo gives more oxygen. Bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases more oxygen into the atmosphere, compared to an equivalent mass of trees. These ornamental bamboo species include the following

Fargesia Gaolinensis
Fargesia Fungosa
Fargesia yunnanensis

Why is bamboo the preferred option in terms of biomass production per hector?

Based on experience, a bamboo plantation of 1000 hectares can provide about 30,000 tons of wood biomass. In this regard, it is estimated that one hectare of bamboo plantation can yield 10-33 (and more) tons of dry stems per year. i.e. five times more than a bamboo forest. The figure is much less than this, with fast growing trees such as eucalyptus with a yield of around 20 tons per hectare per annum over a full rotation. Bamboo consists of 20-100 (or up to 300) stems between 10-30m tall and up to 20cm in diameter with an internode of between 23-95cm, depending on the species.

Where are seedlings and plantlets available in Kenya?

Quality bamboo seedlings are sold in Kitil Farm, each in a tube of 6 by 9 inches, 60 cm tall, packed in cartons. 5 million seedlings available. Plantlets from our biotechnology lab are available for export and those wishing to start thier own bamboo nurseries.

How long does bamboo take to mature?

Bamboo mature at an early age of 3 to 4 years, and this makes the cutting age relatively short. In comparison to traditional timber, bamboo is a renewable resource. When bamboo is harvested, it continues to grow new shoots, without a period of regeneration. Bamboo clump longevity is estimated at 40 years.

Is it true that bamboo protects itself using Kun?

Bamboo protects itself using Kun an anti-microbial agent that gives the plant a natural resistance to pest and fungi infestation.

How many species of bamboo are at Kitil Farm

Currently, we have a wide selection of over 10 various bamboo species of high economic importance. These species include solid bamboo, giant bamboo, high clump density bamboo, a runner bamboo like Phyllostachys pubescens - moso and four types of ornamental bamboo. These bamboo species and others including the 38 priority bamboos of economic importance recommended by INBAR and UNEP, and almost all, have been tested and grown by KEFRI, and approved for plantation in Kenya.

O. Abyssinica
Dendrocalamus membranaceus cv. grandis
Dendrocalamus maximuslamina
Dendrocalamus giganteus
Dendrocalamus stictus
Dendrocalamus asper
Dendrocalamus barbatus Bambusa longinternode
Phyllostachys pubescens (moso)
Fargesia Gaolinensis
Fargesia Fungosa
Fargesia yunnanensis

Other tree seedlings available are: Pinus Kesiya, Juniperus sabina chinensis, Leucaena leucocephala

Why is it advisable to plant more than one species of bamboo?

There are enough scientific reasons why we encourage you to plant more than one species of bamboo. This is important in order to avoid the dangers of plant monoculture and to recognize that various bamboo species do well in certain areas, and others do best in the right ecological zones. If done correctly, bamboo can contribute to providing sufficient biomass, restoring degraded land whilst providing sustainable industries and livelihood development.