Thai’s Kim Sone bamboo a hit in Myanmar

Commercial bamboo growers in the country have set their eyes on the Kim Sone species from Thailand which is resilient and can grow in any season, said U Kyaw Win, President of Myanmar Bamboo Society.

The society has been promoting and distributing Kim Sone to bamboo growers for the past three years, he said.

In Myanmar, bamboo is very valuable for the rural people’s infrastructure and bamboo shoot is a people choice of food.

But despite Myanmar’s large area of bamboo forest, the income derived from bamboo products is negligible, according to the bamboo growers.

Moreover, they said the bamboo species found in the forests are not suitable for making bamboo products, so they become more interested in planting bamboos commercially, said U Kyaw Win.

The growers said the Kim Sone species suits their needs to make bamboo products.

“Now, many people are planting this bamboo species and it is easy to get seedlings. It can be grown in any condition, dry, wet, anywhere. It has good survival rate and it is strong, “ U Kyaw Win said.

Despite the increase in the cultivation of the species, only seedlings are sold in the market currently because growers do not want to sell them for food.

Daw Ei Mon Thet, a manager of ‘Tha Ba Wa’ farm said” We don’t want to sell bamboo shoot, we only sell the seedlings but there is demand for bamboo shoot in the market”.

“We tried to make bamboo furniture. But, there is no market for furniture; so we will sell bamboo seedlings, “she added.

There are hundreds of 3-year-old Kim Sone bamboo plants growing in the Tha Ba Was farm. The bamboo plants get good water supply and grow fast even during summer, said Daw Ei Mon Thet.

In the market, one seedling Kim Sone is sold for K3000 (US$2). If they sell as bamboo shoot, they get only up to K2000.

Currently, Kim Sone seedlings are distributed toYangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Pyi Oo Lwin and Pathein. Although Kim Sone is from Thailand, it can grow very well along with the Myanmar endemic bamboo species.

The growers hope that there will come a time when the demand for bamboo furniture would increase and Kim Sone can easily fill the need for quality bamboos among furniture makers. “Planting Kim Sone not only helps in environment conservation but also a good source of income for farmers. We encourage farmers to plant Kim Sone”, said U Tin Tun Aung, a cultivator of Kim Sone.


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