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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996
BAMBOO: NEED FOR CULTIVATION

W M G C Kumari, K Yakandawala and S M S D Ramanayake
Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy

Bamboo has a wide range of applicability due to its remarkable property of high strength and lightness. It has been the source of a multitude of uses especially in the East over the years. Globally there is resurgence of interest in bamboo due to its unique mechanical and physical properties and the discovery of modern applications.

Compared to other bamboo growing countries, it is underutilized in Sri Lanka. The main use of bamboo is in the construction sector. In addition, it is traditionally used in the cottage industry of making handicrafts. With the increase in the international demand for bamboo products, Sri Lanka has a good potential for entering the export market. The manufacture of good quality products and the continuous availability of the raw material is therefore essential. The main constraint is the limited availability of the resource. Large scale cultivation of bamboo is therefore recommended. Cultivation of the more utilized species and other local good quality species which are underutilized is important. Many useful species can be reclaimed by growing bamboo. Bamboo has also been recommended to be grown along river banks and irrigation canals to control soil erosion. It is recommended that local species currently in use, together with suitable introduced species, be cultivated in in different agroclimatic regions. Production of good quality propagules for large scale planting by the use of conventional and tissue culture methods need to be investigated.

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