From the preface:
"Bamboo is an enduring and versatile natural resource with great species diversity and amenability to a range of environments. Having growth three times faster than most eucalyptus species; bamboos are foremost in biomass production, with up to 40 tonnes per hectare per year in terms of culms only in the managed stands. An estimated one-quarter of the biomass in tropical regions and one-ffth in subtropical regions comes from bamboos. Its qualities of strength, light weight and flexibility make it a viable alternative to tropical timber for a variety of uses. In sum, bamboo‘s excellent growth, environmental, mechanical and engineering properties make it a fine alternative to tropical timber. A couple of decades ago bamboo was used mainly as material to make poles, baskets, furniture, fences and handicraft items. Today, bamboo has thousands of uses including airplane "skins", desalination filters, diesel fuel, edible shoots and medicine. It can also be made into fibre for clothing and used to reinforce concrete. Bamboos potential for different value added products and application make them an extremely important material for dispersed employment generation and economic activities.
The annual bamboo production in India is estimated at 3.23 m tons. India has 30 % of the world's bamboo resources with largest growing area of 11.36 m ha, but the country tap only one-tenth of its bamboo potential and contributes only 4 % share of the global market mainly because of low productivity of around 2 tons/ha/annum. This yield is very low (one fourth to one fifth) compared to countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. India's current demand for bamboo is an estimated 27 m tons. However, only 50 % of that demand can be met because of lack of facilities for value addition and transportation. Therefore there is already a substantial shortfall in the supply of bamboos in India. Thus, there is immense requirement and scope for enhancing bamboo productivity and value addition of processes and products for optimal utilization of this valuable resource.
This book volume is an outcome of deliberations and exchange of ideas during “National Seminar on Productivity Enhancement and Value Addition of Bamboos” held on 9-10 March 2010 at Ranchi organized by Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi. The four different parts of the book volume provide valuable insight over management of bamboos in natural and planted forests; improvement and mass multiplication; value added processes and product development; and socio-economics of bamboo trade and entrepreneurship."
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