Why Bamboo – And Why Agriculture?
B4G reflects innovative partnerships among public and private institutions working together to mobilize bamboo resources to address critical social needs in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania. We see bamboo as a valuable catalyst for social empowerment, economic vitality, and environmental health.
Our B4G mission:
B4G provides leadership for uniting regional bamboo resources with institutional partnerships to create innovative bamboo industries and products, new workforce and economic development opportunities, and related educational programs, to address critical urban and rural quality-of-life conditions across East Africa.
Every day, across Uganda and East Africa, millions of people, their families, and their home communities face challenges of hunger & poverty, and unstable livelihoods, resulting in personal hardship, food insecurity, community disadvantages, lost economic potential, among other avoidable consequences. As a result, farmers, their families and communities bear the burden of attempting to succeed at growing food, often facing challenges related to marginal farming. This is further compounded by lack of access to safe water and farming inputs as well as decades of conflict and instability. These challenges relate to what the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals have identified as critical global issues of zero hunger and building sustainable communities, in need of urgent, innovative solutions.
Described as the “wood of the poor” (India), “friend of the people” (China) and “brother” (Vietnam), bamboo is a wonder plant that grows over wide areas of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. A billion people depend on this plant for their livelihood -- every day. B4A will apply bamboo technology towards agricultural programs including bamboo based agricultural tools and implements, bamboo biochar, on-farm structures, fencing and animal pens, trellises, carts and wagons, etc. The intention is to implement a bamboo production cycle which will complement the crop portfolio of farmers.
In Uganda, as food crops represent 60% of the agricultural GDP, bamboo can be grown in proximity to other crops to supplement production of cash and subsistence crops. B4A will also work closely with other industry partners to facilitate cooperative arrangements between farmers and industry. Additionally, bamboo can be a great resource for manufacturing useful infrastructure like agricultural tools, biochar etc.
B4A aims to bring together ideas that are practical, timely, revenue generative, and resonant with topics and interests evident among mainstream and progressive learners. They will be thoughtfully-designed for sustainable performance, building on existing assets and commitments, and leverage interests, talents, activities and scholarly capacities within the partnership that makes B4G and beyond.
B4A Action Plan
Beginning in 2017, B4G is seeking to secure financial and material (in-kind) support and collaboratively determine best-practices for new workforce training, local distribution of and support for resulting bamboo resources and products.