Some selected farmers at Mankranso and its environs in the Ahafo Ano South District have been trained on the proper harvesting of existing natural bamboo stands in their communities.
The aim was to help protect natural bamboo stands as a valuable wood product and enhance their sustainability not only to protect the environment but also as a source of socio-economic product in the livelihoods of most of them.
It was organized by Environtech Bamboo Limited, an NGO, the Bamboo and Rattan Unit of the Forest Services Division, and the Ahafo Ano South District of the Forestry Commission (FC), to mark this year's World Bamboo Day celebration, which was held on September 18th, at Mankranso.
September 18th every year has been set aside by the World Bamboo Organization (WBO) to celebrate and increase awareness of bamboo globally as a natural wood product, which has the potential to protect the environment and promote the socio-economic livelihoods of many people who depended on them.
Ms. Bernice Dapaah, Chief Executive of Environtech Bamboo, speaking at the ceremony said bamboo was an essential natural substitute for a number of forest products and services.
It is the fastest growing plant and highly versatile material with the possibilities of it being harvested annually.
She noted that a large range of products from household to micro-enterprise, small to medium enterprises and large-scale industrial products could be made from bamboo and that made it imperative for its inclusion in national development.
Ms. Dapaah pointed out that bamboo could contribute significantly to environmental management, habitat for wildlife and mitigate climate change, adding that dedicating a day to highlight bamboo was an indication of its importance in the life of mankind.
"In fact, the riveting beauty of bamboo, its natural strength and highly renewable nature held the interest of the founder of Environtech Bamboo Limited for years, the craftsmanship of framing a bicycle from bamboo and other related products, is a sight to behold," she stated.
Ms. Dapaah said Ghana was endowed with the bamboo resources but exploitation of its full potential to allow for its development, promotion and utilization had been a major challenge.
She said her organization would continue to play a leading role in the promotion, development and utilization of bamboo resources for the benefit of Ghana.
Ms. Dapaah said placing emphasis on bamboo as a substitute for timber products in Ghana had become imperative in view of the dwindling wood resource situation in the Ghanaian timber sector.
Mr Kenneth Frimpong Mankranso Forest District Officer reiterated the commitment of the Bamboo and Rattan Unit of the FC to provide the necessary technical support to individuals and organizations interested in the promotion and development of the bamboo industry in the country.
He said bamboo resources were not only an important part of forestry resources, but also an ideal resource for sustainable forest management and utilization.