Mixed Cropping System with Bamboo as a Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Tropical and Subtropical Regions
INCIVA - Research Institute of Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Bamboo, like sugarcane, rice and wheat, are grasses that belong to the Poaceae family. They are extremely diverse, ecologically and economically important and they occur naturally in tropical and subtropical climates. Guadua angustifolia (Guadua) is a bamboo native to Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, recognised as one of the 20 best bamboo species worldwide due to its fiber quality and its size up to 30mt high and 22cm diameter, offering a series of competitive advantages compared to timber trees, such as self-propagation, high and faster growth rates and productivity. Widespread Guadua-Bamboo cutting for agricultural and road expansion contributed to the loss of its biodiversity. This loss, the lack of nurseries for Guadua propagation with traceability and the weakening of the Guadua value chain have driven the creation of the first project of certified Guadua seedling production centre in the Department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia. This project has allowed us to collect and characterise different Guadua material in the field to establish a germplasm bank with 6 different biotypes. This material has been multiplied both in nursery and in vitro. The project already has 5 certified production protocols, it is engaged in bamboo plant massive multiplication in nursery, and it has a laboratory where we developed a protocol for bamboo in vitro multiplication. These propagated plants will be taken to highly degraded river banks for reforestation, and their social, ecological and economic impact will be determined through scientific study: a cooperation plan with the community and rural associations would be developed to recognise the importance of their local practices, needs and ancestral knowledge so that we can jointly design and execute a participatory reforestation plan. Reforestation will be done along bean, corn and pumpkin crops as mixed cropping, thus allowing families to improve their food supply while bamboo grows. Mixed cropping ecosystem services (ES) for carbon sequestration, soil recovery, water-quality improvement and biodiversity will be assessed while a payment model for the ES evaluated will be designed to offer the community additional income for bamboo conservation, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the region.
Keywords: Guadua-Bamboo, in vitro, nursery, reforestation
Contact Address: Adriana Arenas, INCIVA - Research Institute of Valle del Cauca, Buga, Colombia, e-mail: arenasadrianagmail.com