EcoPlanet Bamboo owns and operates the 485 hectare Kowie Bamboo Farm in South Africa's Eastern Cape which is currently undergoing a significant 4,500 hectare expansion. A network of bamboo farms is operated hand in hand with EcoPlanet's commitment to restoration of the native Albany thicket ecosystem of the Eastern Cape.
The Kowie Bamboo Farm pilot farm was the first successful commercial bamboo farm in Southern Africa and represents a global first in many respects:
- The first bamboo farm globally to successfully transition tissue culture bamboo plantlets from a laboratory setting to a plantation setting at scale.
- The first successful regeneration of soils that had been destroyed by over a century of mechanized and high intensity agriculture.
- The first African bamboo farm to successfully receive Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC)® Forest Management certification.
EcoPlanet's Kowie Bamboo Farm has highlighted the necessity of rigorous science based learning for the development and commercialization of bamboo as an alternative feedstock, particularly in temperate areas. Our team has carried out and collaborated on a range of scientific studies, including but not limited to:
Bamboo's Status as a Non Stream Flow Reduction Activity: a study with the University of KwaZulu Natal into the water usage of bamboo involved equipment onsite analyzing the water uptake of our bamboo on a daily basis throughout a 2+ year period. The results of this study have allowed for bamboo to maintain its status as a non stream flow reduction activity, meaning that, contrary to belief, the plant does not suck up large amounts of water, and does indeed have a positive impact on restoring and protecting water tables.
Bamboo Charcoal as an Additive for Poultry: EcoPlanet worked with scientists at the University of Georgia's Department of Poultry Science on a range of studies as to the benefits of bamboo leaves and bamboo charcoal as feed supplements for poultry. These valuable studies indicated the reduction of salmonella when broiler chicks were given supplements of bamboo charcoal, highlighting alternative mechanisms to reduce dependence on antibiotics while maximizing the use of the entire bamboo resource.
As a science and technology based reforestation company, such peer reviewed and 3rd party studies carried out on our bamboo farms represents a core component of our business development.
Learn more about the Kowie Bamboo Farm and our expansion plans at: