The Minister of Forestry and Mines yesterday called on farmers to engage in large scale Bamboo planting in order to economically benefit from the process.
Addressing the media ahead of the World Environment Day and this year’s Kwita Izina ceremony(naming of baby gorillas), Christopher Bazivamo, said that more sensitization is still needed to encourage farmers to take part in planting of bamboo trees.
“Bamboo trees are very productive economically compared to eucalyptus and other trees, but many farmers have little knowledge about bamboo”
“The ministry and all stakeholders will devise means to encourage farmers to plant bamboo on a large scale” Bazivamo said.
He revealed that previously, 90% of Rwanda’s forests were covered by eucalyptus trees but noted that they are planning to replace them with Bamboo trees due to their various economical advantages and the fight against soil erosion.
The minister added that according to their statistics, about 250,000 Bamboo trees have already been planted countrywide.
Bazivamo said that his ministry has already set up a demonstration Bamboo plantation in Bugesera District for farmers to learn from.
He also noted that the government recently bought machines and installed them in Kabuga, Rusororo Sector in Gasabo District which can produce toothpicks, carpets, curtains and chairs out of Bamboo trees.
He further told journalists the government would organize various technical and business trainings of farmers on how to plant Bamboo trees.
The Director General of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), J. Coosje Hoogendoorn, said that Rwanda has clearly demonstrated great interest in Bamboo and promised more support.
“Bamboo tree is the timber for the 21st century and it can be used to produce high quality furniture products such as Tables and chairs,” Hoogendoorn said.
Hoogendoorn is among the guests who will name young Gorillas in Kinigi, according to Bazivamo.