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Bamboo substitute for timber: new livelihoods for rural communities in Ghana

Bamboo substitute for timber: new livelihoods for rural communities in Ghana

This initiative works on the full bamboo value chain from reforestation to production and marketing of substitutes for timber products, creating alternative sources of income for rural communities. The approach further relieves pressure on forests by inter-cropping plantations with food crops to prevent forest clearance for agricultural production.

Global Bamboo Products Ghana relieves pressure on dwindling forests through reforestation and bamboo agroforestry, producing and marketing bamboo and other non-timber forest products (NTFP), and training rural community members in handicraft production and alternative livelihood options such as bee-keeping and bamboo charcoal production.

Global Bamboo Products Ghana Ltd. (GBPL) owns and operates a bamboo plantation and nursery and a handicraft training centre. It also markets bamboo and rattan handicrafts. The initiative provides the community with a kiln for producing bamboo charcoal, which GBPL then buys and markets. The plan is to expand into industrial bamboo products such as  ooring, panels and plyboard.
The bamboo plantation is innovative, being the first in a degraded forest reserve in Ghana. In addition, the production of high-quality industrial bamboo products creates a new local industry: timber substitutes.


  • Fully plant a 100-hectare bamboo plantation using tissue cultivation technology.
  • Train 50 to 100 young people in rural areas in bamboo and rattan handicraft production, construct 100 beehives and distribute them to 50 to 100 members of the rural community.
  • Provide two additional kilns for bamboo charcoal production and explore local and foreign markets.
  • Establish a processing factory for the production of bamboo panels and plyboard.

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