International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

Inter-Africa Livelihood Development Programme

China, Cameroon, Ghana, Ethiopia, Madagascar



Inter-Africa Bamboo Smallholder Farmers Livelihood Development Programme

For millions of disadvantaged rural communities and smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, bamboo has the potential to contribute to poverty reduction, youth employment, and environmental protection in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Bamboo is easily integrated into smallholder agriculture – including wastelands, degraded lands and in homesteads – or to be farmed as a main cash crop. A perennial resource with relatively high tolerance to climate shocks, such as drought and fluctuating temperatures, bamboo can help to build smallholder farm resilience to climate change. It can be harvested annually or as needed for cash. Bamboo can be sold for timber or burnt for energy, and this enables rural communities to break into the biomass and energy product markets to raise off-farm income.

This programme draws on the South-South cooperation between China and Africa and within Africa to upscale climate-smart, smallholder-based bamboo value chains in Africa. This approach builds on 20 years of IFAD investments with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), which have successfully validated smallholder bamboo value chain models and technologies. Worldwide, these models have created 250, 000 new rural jobs, primarily benefiting women and youth.

The overall project goal is to enhance incomes, livelihoods and climate change adaptive capacities of African smallholder farmers, women and youth by upscaling and increasing their participation in climate-smart bamboo value chains.

Specific objectives of the project include:

  • Upscale and diversify existing target country bamboo value chains and promote industrialization: Develop investment opportunities based on accurate resource assessments and strengthen institutions to enable wide-scale implementation.
  • Facilitate restoration of degraded areas: boost market demand for bamboo resources and improve planting material delivery systems and management to reverse land degradation, reduce erosion, and protect watersheds.
  • Integrate bamboo into country development plans, particularly for climate change: build local & national capacity to assess and identify how to enhance bamboo’s economic and environmental benefits.
  • Enhance South-South Cooperation within Africa and between Africa and China: Enable sharing and transfer of best practices, knowledge, skills and technologies within Africa, via twinning between Ethiopia and Ghana and Madagascar and Cameroon, as well as from China to all target African countries

Expected Outcomes

  • Reduced poverty and increased employment for smallholders (including women and youth);
  • Measurable reduction in land degradation, with 1000s of hectares of degraded land restored;
  • Bamboo mainstreamed into national UN SDG-related policies and development programmes;
  • Increased intra-Africa and Sino-Africa bamboo sector exchange, trade and investment;
  • Improve energy security of smallholder farmers through the production of bamboo charcoal briquette.

Contact details

For more information about the project, please contact:

  • Ernest Nti Acheampong, Programme Director, enacheampong [at] inbar [dot] int, Ghana
  • Rene Kaam, Regional Director and Project Coordinator, rkaam [at] inbar [dot] int, Cameroon
  • Bedilu Kifle, National Project Coordinator, bkifle [at] inbar [dot] int, Ethiopia
  • Michael Kwaku, National Project Coordinator, mkwaku [at] inbar [dot] int, Ghana
  • Rajaonarison Andranjaka Hanitriniala, National Project Coordinator, njakar [at] inbar [dot] int, Madagascar