In what could be a slightly different approach, Tsirang will focus on large-scale bamboo plantation this year. The initiative will begin from the Social Forestry Day on June 2.

This was one of the discussions at the recent Dzongkhag Tshogdu. Dzongdag Pema said the country today depends heavily on bamboo imported from India for the construction sector. Although all demands may not be met, partial demand could be fulfilled within the dzongkhag in few years.

The dzongdag has also been encouraging farmers to plant bamboo for commercial purpose during this gewog visits.

He emphasised on growing bamboo particularly used in the construction sector. Bamboos with shorter eye length have higher compressive strength, he said. “It is easy work. Bamboos do not need watering, nurturing and manure,” he said.

For instance, at least six truckloads of bamboo were imported from Indi for the construction of 40-bed hospital in Tsirang. A shoot of bamboo costs Nu 130 from Assam. After one use the product is disregarded.

To begin the initiative, regional forestry division has already readied 200 saplings in its nursery. Forestry officer KN Ghimeray said getting bamboo seed is difficult as bamboo flowers rarely. “We’ve ready saplings for social forestry day and we’ll raise more,” he said at the DT.

In 2015, the division office planted bamboo stumps on at least 20 hectares of area in Serutar, about 30kms away from Tsirang towards Wangdue. KN Ghimeray said the forestry office has been informing people on the benefits of bamboo farming. Besides preventing erosion and landslides in degraded areas, it can be a source of cash income.

The division is expected to provide at least 50 stumps to each gewog next June. In the following year the number could be multiplied, the dzondag said.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang