The government and China yesterday signed an agreement to boost bamboo tree growing as a means of regenerating the reclaimed wetlands and conserving delicate ecosystems.
State minister for Environment Flavia Munaaba said both parties have agreed to cooperate in the fields of forestry, ecological conservation, technology transfer, research and information sharing.
“What we are introducing with the people of China will help in improving the bamboo industry in the country,” Ms Munaaba said, during the signing ceremony at ministry headquarters in Luzira, a Kampala suburb, yesterday.
The minister noted that the National Forest Authority (NFA) already has stalks of bomboo forests which have not been fully utilised, and this new partnership will see how they are harnessed to yield construction materials, furniture, food, chicken and fish feeds, craft-making raw materials and conserving water ecosystems.
Mr Zhang Jianlong, the China minister for state forest administration, said his government will introduce new species of bamboo trees in the country.
“Bamboo in China is used for water management, poverty alleviation and has a great economic potential on top of being a source of food,” said Mr Jianlong.
He also added that the signing of the agreement will help him to convince China enterprises involved in bamboo to come and invest in Uganda.
According to NFA, Uganda is faced with a challenge of illegal timber trade, with massive destruction of the forest reserves on both private and public lands. Uganda loses 90,000 hectares of forest cover every year.
However, Mr Jianlong, who headed the China delegation, noted that his country currently has seven million hectares of bamboo forest cover and plans to add another one million by the end of next year.