The Vital Roles of Bamboo

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Bamboos are a fascinating group of organisms that play a vital role in the economy and life style of many Asian, African and American countries (Farrelly, 1984; McClure, 1956, 1966). Traditionally "Bamboo" has been referred to a group of woody, evergreen perennial, arborescent grasses, ranging from timber producing species of trees to shrubs or ground cover plants. Bamboo has a rich history, and a promising future as part of the solution to 21st-century challenges. The history of bamboo’s utilization can be traced back to 5000 to 6000 years ago (Zhaohua, 2004). A giant, fast-growing, wood like grass and one of Earth’s oldest and most precious plant materials, it has benefited human societies since times before history.

Today more than two billion people depend on bamboos for their basic needs, as a widespread, renewable, productive, versatile, low- or no-cost, easily accessed, environment-enhancing resource especially in the villages and countryside of the developing world. It is estimated that the world trade on bamboo resources will be about 20 billion dollars by 2015 (Dayawansa, 2012). Globally, bamboo is being targeted for livelihood development and alleviation of both environment and social problems. Due to increasing popularity of bamboo in the industrial sector and its role in the Mitigation, Adaptation and Development (MAD) challenge (Schellnhuber, 2009), most countries have initiated plans to invest in bamboo production and processing in order to reduce
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