Former journalist-turned farmer, Andrew Ndawula Kalema, has turned to bamboo farming in Uganda to combat deforestation.
It was gathered that Uganda has lost over a million hectares of tree cover, nearly a third of the country’s total, with 49,000 hectares lost in 2021 alone, equivalent to 23.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
With public and individual efforts key to restoring degraded land, farmers are turning to bamboo planting, as bamboo is fast-growing and can adapt to different weather conditions, making it key to mitigating the effects of climate change.
Ndawula Kalema says bamboo “can absorb 30% more carbon dioxide and generate 30% more oxygen and it can create the green effect very fast and it will take pressure off our precious trees”.
Bamboo is best known for its strength and durability, and Ndawula Kalema believes there are thousands of potential products, including bicycle frames. However, the export market comes with standards and volumes that Uganda doesn’t yet meet.