Bamboo plant Bamboo is a perennial plant belonging to the grass family. It is the largest member of the family growing on earth. It is characterized by its jointed stem known as culm. Culms are usually empty inside but some species have solid culms. Each segment of the stem is jointed with a special solid joint known as a node. The solid joints create characteristic swelling around both ends of culm segments. Each of these segments is known as internodes. The nodes are the places where leaves and branches grow. Bamboo’s branches are also characterized by segments and consist of the same elements, both nodes, and internodes.
Bamboos are native to tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions. They are quite common for East and Southeast Asia as well as the Indian and Pacific oceans islands. Bamboos are fast-growing plants that can reach up to 40 m in height. Young bamboos grow leaves directly from the stem, while older ones create special tree branches. Most species of bamboo produce flowers and fruit after 12-120 years’ growth.
Bamboo has a vast variety of uses, especially in countries that are their natural habitat. Their seeds are used like grains and are a great source of food. Young shoots are eaten as vegetables and are an important part of Chinese cuisines. The grass is also used to make high-quality paper and the large stems are used to build houses and other buildings as well as various building equipment such as scaffoldings. Bamboo stems are also used as multipurpose tools and can be used to create pipes, buckets, furniture, floor, fishing poles, and much more. Some varieties of this plant, especially the smaller ones, are used for their ornamental purposes in landscapes and gardens. The plant was also quite commonly been used as a healing plant and as traditional medicine.
The bamboo market provides a stable source of income for rural societies in many countries. A majority of Asian and African countries specialize in the production of bamboo and rattan. The largest global production takes place in China, Nigeria, India, Japan, Ghana, and Cameroon. Just in 2019 more than 65.9 billion US dollars were made globally on the bamboo market. The four main production crops are raw materials, industrial products, furniture, and food.
Global bamboo production
Bamboo is a versatile plant that can be used for a variety of purposes, including construction, furniture, paper production, and more. Bamboo is also a fast-growing resource, which makes it an attractive option for many countries looking to increase their production.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), bamboo global production has increased in recent years, reaching a total of 13.7 million metric tons in 2017. The majority of this bamboo is grown in Asia, with China accounting for the largest share at 8.4 million metric tons. Other top producers include India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The FAO notes that bamboo is often used as a tool for poverty alleviation and rural development, as it can provide a reliable source of income for smallholder farmers. In addition, bamboo can help to restore degraded landscapes and improve environmental conditions. As bamboo production continues to grow, it is important to ensure that sustainable practices are in place in order to protect this valuable resource.