Women SHGs will be trained and entrusted with the work of raising bamboo saplings from high quality seeds. The nursery will ensure that large scale production of bamboo saplings can be done in a cost effective manner. Nursery Management will provide large scale employment opportunities for the women of the watershed unit.
Bamboo Plantation, Management & Harvestation Process
The farmers will plant bamboo saplings in the watershed unit and harvest the matured crop which will be bought back by Artison Agrotech Pvt. Ltd through a Buy Back Agreement.
Bamboo can be propagated by seeds, rhizome, culm cuttings and clump division. But the efficiency of these propagation methods varies greatly. Bamboo propagation by these techniques is not sufficient to meet the demand for large scale requirement. To meet increasing demands for bamboo planting material, the developed micro propagation method for mass scale propagation are commercially viable. In micro propagation, mass scale production of high quality plants is available which are easy to transport & deliver, disease free and vigorous growth. Moreover micro propagation is very flexible and rapid up scaling is possible. New selection can be produced in large numbers from single plant in a short span of time which is not possible by conventional method of propagation.
Most bamboos grow best in deep, well-drained, fertile soils and they generally prefer neutral to slightly acid soils. Red and red loamy soils are more preferable however bamboo can be grown in a range of soil from black cotton soil to degraded soil.
No. of plants / acre: 200 - 300 plants/acre
Bamboo can be grown in a wide range of environments, requiring well distributed rainfall, with shortfalls being made up through irrigation. Although bamboos are hardy, adaptable and perennial, they are intolerant to waterlogged condition.
Season & Planting
The best planting time is usually as soon as monsoon starts. This gives the plant, a longer growing season to get established and develop its roots to withstand the hot summer season.
8 - 12 x 4 feet between rows alternated by 12 feet within row. The plants are planted at a distance of 4 feet.
The land should be ploughed as thoroughly and deeply as possible. Clearing and ploughing should be done at least three weeks ahead of the planting. Addition of organic materials to pits such as compost, green manures and neutralized saw dust helps retain moisture and also provide nutrition to the plants. Provide better drainage system. Bamboo likes water and requires similarly to sugarcane cultivation to do its best, but it does not like to be submerged in water or “wet feet” condition.
Pit sites should be identified before digging the pits, to ensure the desired spacing. Dig the pit 2 x 2 x 2 feet size or make continuous trench at 2 feet depth along the row. Pits should be dug much before the rainy season and the dug out pit exposed to weathering. A few days before planting fill the pit with thoroughly mixed soil and compost.
Pitting is recommended for soil which is very hard and no cultivation is undertaken before. In loose soil or the field where cultivation is undertaken previously, trenching is recommended.
In the pit, mix the soil with 2 baskets (20 to 25 kgs) of FYM and 500gms of neemcake. If the place is prone to termite increase the neem cake to 1 kg as basal application. In case of long trench will apply the above mixture along the trench. Carefully cut open the Polybag having the bamboo plants using sharp blade, to ensure the root ball not disturbed. Place the plant vertically in the pit, ensuring that entire polybag soil is placed along with plants. Level the pit or trench with the mixed and enriched soil, ensure to eliminate all air pockets. Much the soil around the plants, it will help control weeds and keep the soil moist.
To provide life irrigation immediately after planting with 10 to 15 lit of water. Drip irrigation along with fertigation tank is one of the good irrigation systems to get maximum yield. Irrigate after planting depending on the soil condition and prevailing climatic condition. Compact the loose soil around the plant. Repeat the irrigation at an interval of 2 to 3 days for the first one month. The water requirement for bamboo for the first month will be 2 to 3 lit per plant, at the end of first year it will increase to 8 to 10 lit a plant. When the plants are fully grown the water requirement would be 20 lit per plant during peak summer. The frequency of watering depends on how soon the bamboo is showing the symptom of wilting. The typical wilting symptom of bamboo appears as folding of leaf blade followed by total curling.
Bamboo plants are heavy feeders and respond very well to fertilizers. Growth of bamboo is vigorous under fertilized condition than without. Fertilizers are important to ensure high yield and overall profitability of plantations. Bamboo needs complete range of fertilization including nitrogen, hosphorous and potassium and often a higher amount of potash. It is better to carry out soil analysis to fix and confirm the dosages. A general dosage norm that may be followed is 870 kgs of Urea, 500 kgs of SSP and 900 kgs of MOP per acre per year. For the first year 50%, second year 75% and third year onwards-full dose should be given in 10 split doses. Care should be taken to see that chemical fertilizers are not applied close to the plant and should be applied 12 inches away from the plant during first year and 2 feet away from plant during second year onwards.
Soil should be loosened to a depth of 10 – 15 cm, and 30 –45 cm away from the bamboo clump at least twice a year, improves the growth of shoot and the root system. Preferably ploughing with tractor in between the rows of bamboo before the rains would absorb the rain water better. Inter cultivation operations between rows also remove weeds. It is possible to do the Inter cultivation by tractor for the first 1 or 2 years between all rows of bamboo, later it would be possible in the wider rows with 12 feet gap.
Regular weeding is necessary 1 foot surrounding the plant to prevent weeds and other vegetation from competing with the young bamboo plants for sustenance. Weeding should be done at least for the first two years after the rains and end of the wet season. Once the clump gets established there is considerable leaf coverage and shedding and this act as a barrier to the emerging weeds. Weeding should be done very carefully at the time of new shoot emergence, which mostly coincides with pre monsoon time.
Mulching reduces loss of moisture due to evaporation from the soil surrounding plant and checks weed growth. In grown up bamboo field, fallen bamboo leaves serve as good on-site mulching material.
Rhizomes grow laterally under the soil surface and when ready to produce new shoots, begin to grow upward. In this period of growth, exposure to sunlight retards and may even stop the growth of rhizomes. Mounding or heaping fresh, loose soil around and over the base of the plant is recommended.
There will be heavy branching at the lower nodes of the plant. In the first two years Pruning of these branches reduces clump congestion and helps provide a healthy, airy environment within the clump. Mild pruning should be done in the second year especially 12 feet wide row. It should be completed before the end of the dormancy period, well before shoots emerge.
Generally clump formation starts in second year, the management of clump are very important. Rhizomes grow centrifugal (outwards) throwing up new shoots in enlarging circular formation. Bamboos can throw up many branches, which if left unattended can get deeply entangled. This not only curbs access to older culms towards the center of culm, but also obstructs free vertical growth of new culms. The new culms may get twisted and turned, which further congest the clump. Such malformed culms make harvesting of the better culms difficult. Therefore, it is important to clean clumps early and to remove all dead and malformed culms. A well aired clump results in the emergence and growth of healthy culms. Dead stems are vulnerable to pathogens.
A good time to carry out clump cleaning operations is throughout the year other than new shoot formation period.
In the high density population, the clump formation should be along the row or towards the 8 feet row. The shoot formation towards the 12 feet row should be discouraged. The clump structure would become oval shape from the planting point. Two nearby clumps would meet in 4 to 5 years time making a continuous row of bamboo culms. Weak and deformed culms should not be retained in the clump.
One year old culms are harvested from second year onwards. Harvesting is done on an annual basis with an interval of 12 months. Harvesting of bamboo culms every year will induce the emergence of new shoots and ensures regular and healthy culm production. Harvesting of bamboo for raw material purpose can begin from the second year of establishment of plantation. The yield ofbamboo increases every year by 10 to 20 % and stabilizes after 5 years.
The best time of the year to harvest clum is the post monsoon season extending through the summer. Culms should not be harvested in the growing season, which is normally during the monsoon months. Harvesting in this period can damage young and emerging shoots and retard the growth of the clump.
The Company will produce and/or purchase rhizomes, shoots and refined seeds for tissue culture in-house (nursery) or from identified sources. Vivekananda Institute has a network with exiting vendors which will be used to procure these locally.
At the 100% capacity utilization, Artison will require around 600,000 units of rhizomes, shoots and refined seeds. The rhizomes, shoots and refined seeds which are collectively known as explants will be tested and treated in the laboratory.
In addition, the Company will require key chemical for treatment and sterilization. The chemical will be sourced from local sources. For the tissue culture labs/nursery, Artison plans to employ locals. The requirement for tissue culture lab can be summarized as follows;
The Company do not foresee any shortage of manpower for the Nursery/Tissue Culture division. Also, with technical inputs from Vivekananda Institute of Technology, Artison can draw significant manpower sources as and when required.
Distribution of Sapling (non-captive plantation)
Artison plans to provide saplings to Forest Department and also to the local farmers for plantation purposes. Artison will buy back the Bamboo poles from the growers as raw material for the Board production.
One year old culms are harvested from second year onwards. Harvesting is done on an annual basis with an interval of 12 months. Harvesting of bamboo culms every year will induce the emergence of new shoots and ensures regular and healthy culm production. Harvesting of bamboo for raw material purpose can begin from the second year of establishment of plantation. The yield of bamboo increases every year by 10 to 20 % and stabilizes after 5 years. The best time of the year to harvest culm is the post monsoon season extending through the summer. Culms should not be harvested in the growing season, which is normally during the monsoon months. Harvesting in this period can damage young and emerging shoots and retard the growth of the clump.