Government is being urged to consider a national policy on bamboo plantation as a mitigation measure to save the depleting forest reserve cover in the country.
As the world celebrates International Bamboo Day on the 18th September 2021, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation says Ghana could take advantage of the numerous environmental, social and economic benefits of bamboo.
At a ceremony to commence a bamboo plantation at Akyem Sagyimase near Kyebi in the Eastern Region, National Coordinator of the Bamboo and Rattan Organisation, Michael Kwaku, said China generates millions in foreign exchange from bamboo plantation.
He said bamboo development could lead Ghana to attaining or achieving most of the sustainable development goals.
He mentioned that Sustainable Development Goals 1, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 15 could be best achieved using bamboo plantation.
He added that, bamboo has the potential of extracting toxins from contaminated soil and also a resource for climate mitigation. He said it is considered a good species for carbon sequestration.
At the Okyenhene’s Palace, the Okyenhemaa, Nana Adutwumwaa Dokua, said the Okyenhene would be ready to facilitate the release of arable land for bamboo plantation to help create jobs.
She said bamboo production could be a major livelihood for most youth who have been rendered jobless as a result of the ban on illegal mining.
She said government’s One – District – One Factory policy could explore other enterprises that will transform bamboo into door panels, plywood, tables and chairs , charcoal production and other artifacts leading to poverty alleviation.
Nana Dokua added that bamboo was very common at Okyenman and everywhere the river flows but activities of illegal mining destroyed the bamboo plantation at Okyeman.
Bamboo, according to her, was used to preserve rivers in the dry season and kept the river from pollution.
Executive Secretary of the Okyenhene Environmental Foundation, Kofi Gyimah, noted that their outfit is collaborating with the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation to plant and nature bamboo along the banks of the Brim River to protect it and ensure that it takes its pass glory of purity .
The World Bamboo Day is a day to increase bamboo awareness globally.
Where bamboo grows naturally, bamboo has been a daily element, but its utilisation has not always been sustainable due to exploitation.
The World Bamboo Organisation aims to bring the potential of bamboo to a more elevated exposure to protect natural resources and the environment, to ensure sustainable utilisation, to promote new cultivation of bamboo for new industries in regions around the world, as well as promote traditional uses locally for community economic development.