Converting from acacia to growing biomass bamboo

(Source: Bamboo biomass not only brings many times higher value than acacia but also contributes to improving the ecological environment, limiting risks before climate change.

Gradually replace inefficient acacia forests

Quang Ngai province is a locality with a large area of acacia growing in the central region. Currently, the area of acacia trees in this province is about over 225,000 hectares, mainly concentrated in mountainous districts such as Tra Bong, Son Ha, Son Tay, Ba To … Over the years, acacia trees have contributed significantly. for the economic development of the localities, helping to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty.

However, today, when climate conditions are increasingly changing in a negative direction, people’s cultivation of acacia trees is also greatly affected. Especially, Quang Ngai is located in the central coastal area, each year there are usually 3 to 4 storms that directly affect, resulting in damage to many acacia areas, and growers fall into loss. Not to mention that the price of acacia often fluctuates, leading to a very precarious income of the people.

Most recently, in 2020, storm No. 9 caused nearly 100,000 hectares of acacia forest in Quang Ngai to fall. Of the damaged forest area, 45,000 ha can be recovered and about 30% ha of acacia trees from 2-4 years old are lost. Thousands of farming households make a living from acacia farming because of how much effort and money they invest.

Faced with this fact, it is necessary to find suitable crops for conversion that have both high economic value and minimize the risks caused by natural disasters. This is also the goal of EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company (Quang Ngai City, Quang Ngai Province).

Incubating the desire to green the bare land and bare hills with the green of bamboo trees; Towards the development of a multi-purpose ecosystem from growing areas to modern export-standard factories, luxury resorts from bamboo materials, this company has built a program to develop economic value chains – restore forest ecosystem from bamboo.

According to Lam Tan Tai, Director of EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company, there are about 1,400 bamboo species of 90 varieties distributed in many countries in the world with an area of more than 22 million hectares. It is estimated that there are more than 300 product lines made from bamboo. Over the past 20 years, the total annual trade of this tree has reached between $1.7 and $2.5 billion.

However, the number of biomass bamboo varieties for timber is relatively modest, only calculated at the fingertips. In Vietnam, there is an area of bamboo growing up to 1.6 million ha (accounting for about 11% of the national forest area, the planted forest area accounts for about 5%), but the bamboo varieties in our country do not meet the national standards. standards to get timber for export.

Through the survey process, a representative of EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company said that the climate and soil conditions in Vietnam are very suitable for biomass bamboo varieties, including the bamboo variety whose scientific name is Dendrocalamus Asper “Hitung”. (referred to as Hitung bamboo). From purebred seed sources taken from hatcheries in Thailand, the company has conducted trial planting in some localities such as Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City… The results show that the plants grow and develop equally well. what are the orchards in the native area.

This is the basis for the company to expand the bamboo growing area to other localities across the country. In which, the central provinces in general and Quang Ngai province in particular have many advantages. Because the area of production forest in this area is relatively large. Compared to acacia – a tree commonly grown in production forests today, biomass bamboo not only brings many times higher economic value, but has other advantages.

Multi-value from bamboo forest biomass

Mr. Lam Tan Tai, Director of EcoBambu Bamboo Joint Stock Company, said that at the moment, the investment value for 1 hectare of Hitung bamboo is about 80 million VND (including seed money, care, and fertilizer). Calculated in the shortest cycle of 20 years, bamboo trees continuously regenerate, do not need to be replanted, every 15 consecutive years there are exploited products, bringing people more than 2 billion VND in profit.

Meanwhile, with this same time and this area, acacia trees will take up to 4 times the same investment with a cost of about 70 million VND. The profit was just over 500 million VND. “That’s not to mention when growing bamboo biomass, in the first years people can intercrop crops for short and long term purposes. In the third year, bamboo shoots can still be harvested for commercial sale. From this year, the annual revenue from bamboo shoots is at least 36 million dong,” Mr. Tai said.

According to Mr. Tai, in addition to its economic value, bamboo also has many advantages in protecting the ecological environment and adapting to climate change. Accordingly, bamboo absorbs 4 times more CO2 and releases 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than comparable trees, helping to improve microclimate air quality.

Besides, with a cycle lasting up to tens of years, a strong root system, firmly clinging to the soil and spreading over a large area of land, bamboo will keep the soil to avoid landslides when it floods and form a barrier that reduces the strength of storm winds. When broken due to high winds, trees can regenerate very quickly without replanting. Unlike acacia, after 5-7 years of exploitation, there will be a period of time when it becomes bare land, bare hills, the soil will be easily eroded and washed away.

The Hitung bamboo variety selected by EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company is a large-sized variety, the diameter at maturity is from 15-30cm, with a height of about 15-30m, the body is 2.5-3cm thick. The wood of the tree is appreciated for its high quality, almost all parts of the tree are used to make products in many fields from handicrafts, industry, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics…

Currently, bamboo wood products are very popular in the world market, but the source of raw materials is not enough. Therefore, a representative of EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company confirmed that the output of biomass bamboo products is very stable. “The purchase price of Hitung biomass bamboo is currently about 165,000 VND/tree. One more thing that needs to be said is that bamboo has a healthy vitality, very few pests and diseases, “said Mr. Tai.

It is known that in Quang Ngai, EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company has built 10ha of material areas for growing bamboo for timber in Duc Pho town. This area has been 9 months old and is in the growth and development phase. In the near future, this company is expected to cooperate with about 30 cooperatives in the mountainous districts of Quang Ngai province to expand the area as well as gradually convert the inefficient acacia growing areas through biomass bamboo.

“The company’s point of view is to build models in cooperatives. When people realize the effectiveness of biomass bamboo, they will follow suit. The target is that by 2025, in Quang Ngai province, there will be about 2,000 hectares of bamboo growing for timber, for production and export.

In the following years, gradually expanded to many areas in Quang Ngai province as well as neighboring provinces such as Quang Nam and Binh Dinh. Once there is a large raw material area, it will be eligible to set up a processing factory in the central region. From there, helping people improve economic efficiency from the forest”, said Mr. Lam Tan Tai, director of EcoBambu Eco-Bamboo Joint Stock Company.


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