In an bid to promote Panay Island as the country’s bamboo capital, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 under the Enhanced National Greening Program (E-NGP) conducted a 3-day Capability Training on Bamboo Propagation, Plantation Development, Rehabilitation, Enterprise and Value Chain at Damires Hills Tierra Verde Janiuay, Iloilo last Oct 28-31, 2019.
Forest Extension Officers (FEO) of various Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in Western Visayas attended the training to learn further the importance and usage of bamboo, proper way of propagating it and its economic benefits.
The DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Center (UBRDEC) Center Head, Gregorio E, Santos, Jr. shared his expertise on bamboo to mitigate the effects of climate change, the production and its potentials to boost economic gains.
Accordingly, bamboo can absorb 12 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare each year thus it helps lowering the temperature. It also performs as an interceptor of rain due to its extensive root system that maintains soil stability preventing soil erosion and occurrences of flash flood.
“Bamboos don’t easily break, they just bend,” URBDEC Center Head Santos Jr. said.
Santos said bamboo is sturdy and a good substitute for wood, thus reducing the pressure on our natural forest to supply domestic wood requirements.
Propagating bamboo requires patience and skill thus knowing the proper way is a must. As part of the training, the FEO’s and E-NGP coordinators executed an actual demonstration of propagating bamboo in Maasin Watershed Forest Reserve at Brgy. Daja, Maasin, Iloilo.
Santos further explained that good qualities of planting stocks are required in producing healthy bamboo thus proper selection of stocks such as (culm, branch cuttings, rhizomes and seeds) and materials such as (bolos and pruning shear) and using the appropriate potting media composed of (garden soil, compost and rice hulls) are required.
The bamboo nursery should be located near the planting area to avoid stressing the rooted cuttings. There must be a sufficient supply of water to take good care of the bamboo rooted cuttings properly. The bamboo can be propagated through culm cuttings, branch cuttings, rhizomes and seeds.
In Western Visayas, culm and branch propagation are the best way to use. Here are the tips in propagating bamboos: choose 1-2 years old culm and branch with healthy budeye to cut and plant it in the potting media with mycorrhiza.
Water it twice a day during morning and afternoon. It should be situated in a nursery with sunlight from East to West direction and should be properly cared.
According to DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla Jr., “Bamboo has great potentials to boost our economic gains through its multiple uses such as for construction materials, furniture, handicrafts, textiles, bamboo charcoal, medicine, beauty products, pulp and paper, gadget cases, transportation and ecotourism destinations.”
The Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu pushes for close to 98% survival rate of planted bamboos here in Western Visayas. He also requires bamboo in domestic use to avoid using plastic materials.
The bamboo program improves the quality of our environment and addresses solid waste problems through the implementation of the Enhanced National Greening Program Executive Order No. 193 to rehabilitate the unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands and is among his 10 priority programs. (DENR-6)