Bamboo – an exciting investment opportunity

Start with the ‘Why’ is what people say if you start a business. After doing some research, we collected at whydowedobamboo,  the question became soon ‘why not?’ Bamboo has many advantages which makes this an exciting investment opportunity. If you want to know more about the unique qualities of bamboo, view this below.

Fast

Bamboo is a special crop for many reasons. It is the fastest growing plant on earth. Where traditional wood requires 20 to 50 years to reach its full height, new bamboo stems (or culms) often only need one year to grow till full height. Bamboo is a mature plant in five to six years in Europe. Bamboo is a colony plant, and it produces new stems (culms) every year from the root system. Every year 5-6 culms can be harvested (from the species that are growing in clumps). Once the plantations reached maturity it creates 15 times more wood per hectare than trees.

Strong and versatile

On the one hand, bamboo has a higher tensile strength than steel, while on the other hand it can form the basis for ultra-soft clothing. It makes bamboo the most versatile plant in the world, one with innumerable uses. There is a growing demand for bamboo fibers and energy-pellets in succession to construction applications and products for instance flooring, furniture, kitchens, food, cosmetics and medicines, and as a raw material for textile that is similar to cotton.

Sustainable

Bamboo is a highly sustainable raw material. The sustainability of a bamboo plantation in Europe is guaranteed in several ways.
Production per hectare and ecosystem increaseBamboo products are more sustainable than the traditional hardwood markets because more material is produced per hectare (up to 15 times more) while the pressure on the environment in general is lower. Bamboo plants are never removed completely like trees, but continue to grow. When well managed a Bamboo plantation can create its own ecosystem and this will be permanent.
Easy on soilsThe plant grows fast but will not exhaust the soils, like many other fast growing species. With its leaves falling and composting on the ground, bamboo works on its own soil improvement and it is largely self-sufficient. Bamboo thrives on poor soil and is therefore very suitable for reforestation of degraded land.
Climate consequences positiveBamboo absorbs at least four times as much CO2 and produces 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. Therefore theoretically carbon credits can be generated with a bamboo plantation.

Growth market

The supply of suitable wood is declining, because 30% of the wood is produced illegally and 40% comes from non-sustainable (not certified) sources. Consumer awareness of the devastating effects of deforestation, such as climate change, increases the need for an alternative. Bamboo is one of the answers. Bamboo has been increasingly used as a substitute for tropical timber in the European market. Bamboo products are becoming popular due to their characteristics of durability and strength, which resemble the qualities of tropical wood, while providing a more sustai-nable alternative. The demand for bamboo products is already growing rapidly worldwide. Therefore worldwide trade in bamboo has quadrupled the last 4 years up to $60 billion. A massive grow thin demand for bamboo is expected as more and more manufacturers and consumers have embraced bamboo. In other words, investing in bamboo is investing in a growing market.

Environmentally speaking, bamboo is exceptionally valuable in terms of CO2 absorption (5 times more than trees) and oxygen production (+30 % more than some trees).  Bamboo products, such as plates, cutlery or drinking straws can also be used as alternatives to plastics.  These characteristics make bamboo a particularly important tool for climate change mitigation.  

In addition, bamboo is an ideal cash crop since it is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet with harvest maturity after 3 to 5 years;  bamboos can produce the highest crop yield per hectare and the manufacturing process has almost no production residue, as the waste can be used for secondary value chains.

After that, when the bamboo poles are cut and processed, bamboo and its fibre is the raw material for thousands of production chains, including food and fodder, household items, furniture, clothing, paper, interior design and construction material.  All of this makes bamboo  extremely interesting as a sustainable investment crop.

investment opportunity bamboo picture: P. van der Lugt, Booming Bamboo, Materia
Picture: P. van der Lugt, Booming Bamboo, Materia