Bamboo Cultivation in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 17, 2022, 9:17

Bamboo, a part of the Poaceae grass family, is an evergreen plant that provides numerous environment-friendly options for homes, furniture, and more. It is also the fastest in terms of the time taken to grow to full size.

Bamboo cultivation in India is an important occupation for farmers since India has sufficient reserves of high-quality bamboo. India produces approximately 3.23 million tonnes of bamboo annually. Also known as the 'poor man's timber', India is second only to China if we consider annual bamboo production.

Bamboo helps India protect the environment since it is considered a viable alternative to wood. It is used to manufacture plywood, pulp, and construction material. Bamboo is grown in the North-Eastern states of India. Of the 136 species of bamboo available in India, only some are commercially viable.

What Climate is Ideal for Bamboo cultivation in India?

Bamboo cultivation in India is possible since India has the ideal hot-to-warm temperate climate essential for the healthy growth of this crop. Temperatures below 15 degrees are harmful for bamboo cultivation.

Bamboo must be protected against strong winds since they have thin roots. Cold winds should also be avoided since the tips of the bamboo plant are damaged.

Bamboo cultivation in India - Soil Requirements

Most types of soil can be used for Bamboo cultivation in India. However, rock-strewn soil should be avoided. To be more specific, well-drained sandy-to-clay soil should be used for bamboo cultivation.

The soil pH is an indicator of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Soil with a pH below 7 is considered acidic, which is needed for bamboo cultivation. The ideal range is between 4.5 and 6.

The perfect conditions for Bamboo cultivation in India exist in the Barrack Valley Region since it offers the perfect combination of soil and climate.

Bamboo cultivation in India - Growth Process

  • Bamboo cultivation in India has been achieved through rhizomes or culms cuttings since finding bamboo seeds is a challenge. Bamboo seeds start in nursery beds, grow in poly pots, and later are transferred to the main field.
  • Bamboo is planted during the rainy season. Pits for planting the seeds are 60 x 60 cm at an interval of 5 x 4 meters between seedlings.
  • It takes 5 years for a bamboo plant to reach its full-grown stage. Intercrops like turmeric, chillies, or ginger can be grown for extra income in the first 3 years.

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Bamboo cultivation in India - Need of Manure and Fertilizers

Fertilizers and manure are vital for Bamboo cultivation in India since bamboo plants need high nutrients, and this washes out the soil. To prevent this, fertilizers are required after harvesting and before irrigation starts.

The potassium and nitrogen in the fertilizer help bamboo plants grow faster. They also need organic compost, green manures, chemical fertigation, and wood ash. Pesticides are essential for protecting young bamboo shoots from leaf sucking and biting insects.

Bamboo cultivation in India - Frequently is Irrigation

Young bamboo plants in nursery beds need regular irrigation. When transferring the young seeds to the main field, immediate water is needed. The soil should be drained out during flooding or heavy rains since the seedlings are damaged due to waterlogging. If required, drip irrigation can be used.

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Harvesting Schedule for Bamboo cultivation in India

Bamboo plants can be harvested from the 6th year onwards. You can harvest 6 culms in the sixth year, 7 culms in the 7th year, and continue in this manner.

Bamboo cultivation in India plays an important role since this cash crop generates substantial income for our farmers. India has the ideal climate required for bamboo cultivation. Like any other plant, a lot of care, including irrigation and fertilizers, is required to ensure proper growth.

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FAQs on Bamboo cultivation in India

Q1. What is the Bamboo cultivation in India rank globally?

Bamboo cultivation in India is ranked 2nd globally, just after China.

Q2. Where is Bamboo cultivation in India practised?

Bamboo cultivation in India is practised in the North-Eastern Region of India.

Q3. What is the Ideal soil pH needed for Bamboo cultivation in India?

The ideal soil pH for bamboo cultivation in India is between 4.5 and 6.

Q4. When does harvesting start after Bamboo cultivation in India?

Bamboo harvesting starts from the 6th year onwards, after Bamboo cultivation in India.