BAMBOO FARMING: AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSFORM LIVELIHOODS
THE call on farmers to engage in large-scale bamboo planting should be heeded, as it has lasting benefits to them and the country.
Bamboo trees are highly lucrative and the country has the right climatic conditions to guarantee bumper harvests for years to come. The plant can be used for a variety of purposes such as the manufacture of, furniture, and even kitchen utensils and construction, to mention but a few.
Bamboo farming for commercial purposes requires minimal capital investment. Therefore, it would be imperative for those planning to take up bamboo farming to form cooperatives, for purposes of access to capital or pooling of resources.
Research has shown that bamboo trees take six years to mature. This implies that such a long-term investment would require sufficient initial capital, which can be accessed through cooperatives.
By setting up demonstration farms and other necessary infrastructure for processing the product, the government has demonstrated its unwavering support for those ready to take up the initiative.
The onus is now on Rwanda’s farmers to take advantage of what has been availed by government to gain commercially from bamboo farming. If the majority of Rwandan farmers take advantage of this opportunity, it will help in transforming many livelihoods and will guarantee a bright future.