Bamboo market in Italy started several years ago. To date it’ s increasing step by step and more and more bamboo forests grow on our country.
Susteinability is becoming an important topic both for industries and farmers; they realize the importance of creating a new raw material, healthy for air, soil and environment.
WHAT IS GIANT BAMBOO
It’s a plant, native to China, and it belongs to grass family. It’s extremely strong and it can grow in different kind of soil, it’ s giant and evergreen.
Its culms are composed by cellulose and hemicellulose. Bamboo plants grow up to 25 mt, can achieve a diameter of 15 cm and are cultivated for industrial, commercial and food purposes.
Their growing is constant and rapid, if the plant is sown in the ideal place and receives the optimal nourishment.
There are several kind of bamboo, of different type, so it’s foundamental to evaluate the best sort of plant, that may have the highest efficiency for industrial coultivation, taking in consideration the composition of soil and the climate in the plantation area.
To date the most suitable kind of bamboo for industries has been Phyllostachis Pubescens or Edulis, known as Moso.
A bamboo plantation doesn’t need chemicals treatments or pesticides, as the plant itself is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it ‘s immune to unpleasant and expensive bacterial and parasite attacks.
GROUND AND CLIMATE FOR PLANTATIONS
Fertility of italian soil is one of our best resources. Agriculture in our country is divided in two distincted branches: on one side is traditional one, made of over-exploited grounds and relevant markets, dependent on chemicals treatments, and controlled by multinationals; on the other side there’s a new, different way of conceiving agriculture, that is growing more and more, concentrating on innovation, biological products, with no pesticides, an articulate production chain, and moreover with an enormous profit potential (as for every innovative market).
Starting from an accurate analisys of ground and climate and a balanced fertilization, a bamboo forest will reach its best potential.
Italian climate, according to national data collection, is favourable to bamboo plantations prosperity.
Some varieties of bamboo are able to adapt to environmental conditions, also resisting to harsh winters, when temperature may reach -20°
Both soil and climate are factors that need to be analized in detail, to estimate how to procede with a plantation.
BAMBOO: INVESTMENTS PER HECTARE
Starting a bamboo cultivation is not an investment accessible to all, as at the beginning an important amount is required to start-up a plantation, which will be 360° performing. We talk about some tens of thousands euros per hectar, that will start producing in 4-5 years.
BAMBOO POLES TRADE
When people cut a traditional wood, they collect raw material, that will be completely replaced over a period of time estimated in 30-40 years.
Due to an increasing awareness of importance of eco-sustainability, both in industrial and agricultural sectors, investors focus on balancing environment with speed of growth of a plantation and its productions costs.
Last but most important issue: profitability. Every aspect of this investment rewards bamboo plantations in terms of income; a plantation reaches its maturity in 4-5 years, from which it will be possible to start harvesting and selling its products.
Year by year the volume of harvest will increase, in a continuos cycle.
Moreover, giant bamboo forests become a natural instrument able to absorb CO2 and give oxygen to the planet.
GIANT BAMBOO INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS
The whole Bamboo plant has an enormous and various potential.
We can start from the poles, whose precious wood is used for making kitchens, partitions walls, roofs but also for some parts of boats and cars.
This is possible, because the final product shows mechanical features, that compared to other most used woods, like oak and spruce, proved better performances.
Every part of bamboo plant can be used, in many different sectors: textile, bioplastic, cellulose, woodchip, pellet, fabrics, up to food industry.
In constructions, there’s an academic project to certify italian bamboo as structural material.