• May 19, 2024
  • Last Update May 19, 2024 1:10 PM
  • Nairobi

Farmers root for bamboo farming for economic/environmental gains

Farmers root for bamboo farming for economic/environmental gains


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

KNA by Anjeline Ogal and Gabriela Xavier

More than 100 farmers in Migori County have embraced bamboo farming, driven by experts’ advice on its numerous benefits and potential for income generation.

The farmers are mostly accustomed to growing cash crops such as maize, tobacco, and sugarcane and an array of food crops, including cereals like sorghum, rice, and millet.

However, they are often disadvantaged by fluctuating market prices and unpredictable yields associated with these unconventional crops.

The shift towards bamboo farming began when agricultural experts urged the farmers to diversify to bamboo tree farming.

The experts highlighted the versatile nature of bamboo, explaining that it has various benefits, including providing building material and being a raw material for making artifacts.

The economic benefits of bamboo farming are clear: On average, Migori farmers are earning significantly more from bamboo farming than from their previous crops.

Mr. Collins Otieno, a farmer from Nyarongi, had planted bamboo trees in his 20 acre-land and is earning a lot from his concerted efforts he has put in producing this plant, in a span of two years now.

The individual made a significant decision to switch to bamboo, planting and selling trees, and earning Sh.400, 000 for the first time, which was used to educate their three children.

Meanwhile, Mr. Collins is one of the 100 farmers who jointly earned Sh.10 million from the sale of bamboo trees in 2020 /2021 Financial Year.

However, the advantages of Bamboo go beyond financial gains. Bamboo farming is also having a positive impact on the environment.

Environmentalist, John Muhingira, affirms that bamboo trees help in soil conservation and prevent erosion. Its extensive root system binds the soil together, reducing run-off and preserving water.

Additionally, they absorb carbon dioxide at a higher rate than many other plants, contributing to the fight against climate change.

Mr. Muhingira also notes that Migori has a favorable climate and soil that facilitates the growth of Bamboo.

“Bamboo trees do not need much rain to grow. The soil around is good for the growth of the trees, which provide forest cover that is good for the protection of the local water sources,” he said.

The success of Bamboo farming in Migori County is inspiring more farmers to join the movement.

Local agricultural officers and officials from the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), continue to provide support and training, ensuring that farmers have the knowledge and resources they need to succeed.

Mr. Muhingira urges the farmers to source bamboo seedlings from the local KEFRI office in order, to expand and gain more from this kind of tree.

Lastly, other areas where farmers grow bamboo in Migori County are Sibuoche, Nyamilu, and Oyani Sub-locations all in Uriri Constituency, Gamba in Awendo and, Tonye and Opapo, areas of Rongo sub-county.

Courtesy; KNA

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