Bamboo shoots (1)
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Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, China. 2001. Bamboo shoots (1). INBAR, Beijing, China
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/64391
Bamboo shoots are very nutritious and have been eaten as a vegetable for thousands of years in many Asian countries
What are bamboo shoots? Bamboo shoots are young bamboo stems (culms). They are very nutritious and have been eaten as a vegetable for thousands of years in many Asian countries. There are three types of shoots; spring or summer shoots, winter shoots (very tender) and rhizome shoots. How are they produced? Most bamboos produce new culms once each year, usually in the spring or autumn. By careful management of bamboo plantations a maximum number of shoots can be encouraged to grow each year. They can then be harvested when they are about 15- 30 cm long, depending on the species. What is the market for bamboo shoots? The market for bamboo shoots is very large. Fresh shoots are very popular in many regions, but it is the export market for canned shoots that holds more potential for growth. Increasing populations of Asian peoples in all countries of the world, and popularity of shoots amongst non traditional consumers, means that the market for shoots is presently growing at a rapid pace and can be expected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. What is the role of a bamboo shoots plantation in rural development? A bamboo shoots plantation can bring degraded lands back into production and provide income-generating options for farmers. It is easily adopted because it builds on the inherent plant cultivation skills of the farmers. Bamboos grow better with organic inputs, such as fertiliser, so the production of shoots is not harmful to the environment. Additionally, if established in conjunction with a local shoot-canning unit, benefits to the employees and the wider community will result. How do I establish a bamboo shoots plantation? All that is required to establish a bamboo shoots plantation is land and bamboo propagules. The costs of establishment are thus limited to the cost of the propagules and the labour. Ideally some linkages to shoots processors would be established to guarantee a market for the shoots. Alternatively the plantation may be established in conjunction with a shoot-processing unit. Both could be established as part of one community cooperative and producers and processors would benefit.