Developing and Diffusing Technologies for Smallholder Bamboo and Rattan Producers
Socio-economic, policy and technical issues serve as strong barriers for the take-up of bamboo and rattan in parts of Asia, Africa and South America. This project, which took place across eight years in two phases, aimed to address some of these barriers and to encourage the development of the bamboo and rattan sector in a number of countries. The project included a focus on technology sharing between Asia, which has some highly developed bamboo and rattan economies, to Africa and South America.
The first phase of the project (1996 to 2000) worked in Cameroon, China, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. The project successfully incorporated bamboo and rattan components into the design of loan projects, while developing Transfer of Technology Models (TOTEMs) to support adoption of bamboo and rattan in developing countries. The project also included the development of studies Five studies were conducted to determine the economic aspects of bamboo and rattan that can be used for further policy implementation. Marketing strategies were put into development and resource mapping determined the traditional and current use of bamboo by indigenous people. These were further evaluated for their usefulness for the development of rural economies. Lastly, sectorial support studies were completed that evaluated the usability of bamboo such as for fisheries in India.
The second phase of the project (2001 to 2004) focused on certain sites in China, Ecuador, Ghana, India and Tanzania. As the bamboo and rattan sector in these countries is currently undervalued, this phase of the project focused on the validation of bamboo and rattan technologies through action research projects, technology diffusion and product development activities, awareness raising and increased linkage between networks and markets. Training and workshops were conducted to train villages in the sustainable management of bamboo resources and the development of commercialised production chains with contracts made with the European market. In Ecuador the project enabled the construction of prototype schools and bamboo refugee shelters.
(Pictured: a Tanzanian smallholder farmer on a bamboo planting course)