Bamboo and Grasses
Bamboo is a group of woody perennial grasses that grow in the tropic and sub-tropic parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. While in Asia bamboo sprouts are widely appreciated as a food item, in Africa bamboo is mostly considered a source of non-food biomass.
Bamboo resources effectively complement timber use in building and construction, pulpwood, flooring, panel products, furniture and artisanry. Due to its high heating value, bamboo-based firewood and charcoal are suitable alternatives for similar wood-based products. Other grasses native to Africa such as Napier grass (or elephant grass) also present opportunities as a forage crop.
Bamboo and grasses have proven to be useful for helping to meet both socioeconomic and environmental needs. However, further research is needed to identify suitable species, ecological conditions and enabling socio-economic factors for a sustainable production of these grasses in Africa.
Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Women in Agricultural Development, MOFA WIAD, Ghana and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, FARA 29.11.2017 BiomassWeb DDRD Project: Bamboo Agrolink, MOFA-DEAS, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, FARA Video
The video demonstrates the potential of bamboo leaves to be used as fodder for livestock in Ghana. Bamboo leaves are evergreen and are higher in nutrient contents particularly crude protein compared to the traditional livestock fodder such as grasses and tree leaves. The project was conducted as part of the BiomassWeb project (www.biomassweb.org).