Initiating first step in sustainable bamboo production cycle

Bamboo propagules used in Calao reforestation initiative

Article | Mr. Jerome L. Duque [External Linkages and International Affairs]

Photos | Ms. Marjie B. Esteban [College of Agriculture and Forestry]

Link of Photos | 

A total of 930 bamboo propagules were planted in critical areas of Calao Forest Reserve during the greening drive of Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) on 18, 29-31 August. 

Covering an area of 4.5 hectares, said activity engaged volunteers, most of whom were TAU teaching and non-teaching staff, and aimed towards expanding the green canopy and creating microclimate zones in Brgy. San Jose, Mayantoc

These areas had been stripped of vegetation by forest fires or were initially deemed unsuitable for tree-planting due to poor soil conditions, worsened by climate change. To date, a total of 157 hectares have already been planted with kawayang tinik (Bambusa blumeana<, giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus giganteus), and bayog (Bambusa spinosa). 

Engr. Mark Augustine Ferrer, the Project-in-Charge for the Engineered Bamboo facility, shared that TAU President Dr. Max P. Guillermo plans to establish a fully-integrated bamboo value chain, involving supply, design, marketing, and distribution of bamboo products and consequently, to reflect his administration’s commitment to making bamboo one of TAU's flagship commodities.

Aside from the planned Bamboo Forest Park in Calao, TAU also has a bambusetum with 50 species of bamboo in its campus in Camiling which has been transformed into a green space thereby contributing to ecotourism efforts of the university.

Under the authority of Presidential Decree No. 1506, TAU was granted possession of the 665 hectare-Calao Forest Reserve which now serves as location for field studies of students from the College of Agriculture and Forestry (CAF) and College of Engineering and Technology (CET). 

Over the years, the internal and surrounding watersheds of the reserve have been gradually rehabilitated to prevent floods and droughts in the low-lying areas of Mayantoc and Camiling. The rainwater collected from downpours can be stored for future use, thereby promoting ecological equilibrium in northwestern Tarlac. 

Due to the presence of rich flora and fauna, it is also now home to 94 Ayta-Magantsi individuals who relocated from adjacent resettlement villages.