Bamboo Resources - Mizoram NBM

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Bamboo Resources

        Bamboo forests cover a large extent of  area in Mizoram. The State possesses the maximum percentage of  its geographical area under bamboo  forests  as  compared  to  other  States  of   the  country. Bamboo forests are most abundant  in  the five northern districts but are  rare  in  the  eastern  and  south  eastern  parts  of   the  State, particularly  in Champhai, due to high altitude. Most of  the bamboo species occurring in the State are found between 400m to 1,500m altitude  and  their  distribution  is  somewhat  restricted  to  above 1,550m.  However,  Sinarundinaria  falcata,  S.  griffithiana  and Schizostachyum  fuchsianum  occur  in  the  high  elevations  of   Blue Mountain  and  Mt.  Chalfilh,  which  are  above  1,500m  altitude. Bamboo also grows as under-storey plants  in  tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests,  in pure stands along river banks,  in and around  villages  and  as  dominant  secondary  vegetation  on abandoned  jhum  lands. Clear  felling  in primary  forests  for  jhum cultivation  results  in  establishment  of   bamboo  specially  'muli' which dominates  the  species composition.

        The Forest Survey of  India made an assessment of  the bamboo resources of  the State in 1988-89 and estimated the total growing stock to the tune of  16.54 million tonnes with an annual yield of  3.23 million  tonnes. The domestic  consumption during 1988-89 was  estimated  as 28,315  tonnes,  thus  leaving  a  surplus of  3.209 million tonnes. Another survey of  the bamboo area was conducted by the Eastern Zone, FSI, Kolkata during 1991-92. It covered 20 mahals in seven forest divisions viz., Aizawl, Champhai, Darlawn, Kawrthaw, Kolasib, Mamit and Tlabung covering an area of  1,772 2km ,  and  according  to  their  results,  the  non-clump  forming bamboos accounted  for 98% of   the  total growing stock with 725.68 million  culms  (over one  year old)  having  a  total weight of   1.77 million tonnes. Later, Rai and Chauhan (1998) estimated the total growing stock of  bamboos at 10.89 million tonnes (green weight)and 6.53 million tonnes on dry weight basis. The total number of  culms was reported to be 6,130.43 million spread over a bamboo area of  9,210.3 km .Recently the bamboo resources of  the State have been assessed by the Mizoram  Remote  Sensing Application  Centre  (MIRSAC)  in 2008 with the help of  satellite  imageries and ground survey through a  project  sponsored  by  the  State  Environment  and  Forest Department. MIRSAC adopted  the selective systematic sampling method  for  selecting  the  sample  locations  in  different  districts/ forest  divisions  of   the  State.  A  total  of   7,200  sampling  units covering an area of  72 ha were enumerated for counting of  culms and prediction of  growing stock. For enumeration purpose, a culm is defined as a bamboo which has a dbh of  2 cm and above and a height of  2 m and above. Therefore, bamboo culms measuring less than  these measurements,  if   occurring  in  the  sample  area, were ignored from the analysis. Normally, areas having 1 to 2 year old bamboo  vegetation were  selected  for  collecting  of   data  as  they complied with FSI standard for their elegibility to be sampled and analyzed  for  the estimation of  growing  stock. As  a  whole,  the  total  growing  stock  of   the  State  was estimated to be 24.014 million metric tonnes out of  a total bamboo.As  a  whole,  the  total  growing  stock  of   the  State  was estimated to be 24.014 million metric tonnes out of  a total bamboo area  of   7,091.66  km ,  which  constituted  33.63%  of   the  total geographical  area  of   the  State.  The  average  growing  stock  was assessed to be around 3,386.25 metric tonnes per square kilometer. The total number of  culms for the entire State was estimated to be 6,123.86 million. Area statisticsOut of  the total bamboo area of  the State (7091.66 km ), Lunglei has the maximum area of  1,956.59 km , followed by Mamit, Aizawl, Lawngtlai, Kolasib and Serchhip, respectively having 1,598, 927.69, 730.79,  661.80  and  439.08  km   area  under  bamboo  forest.
Champhai  has  the  lowest  area  under  bamboos  (345.68  km )followed closely by Saiha district  (432.04 km ). If  we  look at  the percentage area of  the district covered by bamboos, Mamit has themaximum  percentage  of   its  geographical  area  under  bamboos(52.81%),  followed by Kolasib, Lunglei, Serchhip, Saiha, Lawngtlai  and Aizawl,  respectively  having  47.87%,  43.12%,  30.89%,  28.58%  and 25.94%  area under bamboos. The details  are mentioned  in Table 1.The division wise assessment of  the bamboo area indicatedthat  the maximum bamboo  area  is  available  in Thenzawl ForestDivision  (972.32 km ),  followed by Mamit, Lunglei, Kolasib  and Darlawn Forest Division,  respectively having 841.15, 742.39, 638.68 and  510.66  km   area  under  bamboos.  The  statistics  of   the autonomous district council area indicated that the maximum area under bamboo forests is available in LADC (549.11 km ), followedby MADC and CADC, respectively having 438.09 and 174.60 kmarea under bamboo  forests.

 Growing stock and Culm statistics
        The  assessment (MIRSAC, 2008) indicated that Lunglei had the maximum growing stock of  bamboos i.e. 6.109 million metric tonnes,  followed  by  Mamit,  Aizawl,  Kolasib,  Lawngtlai  and Serchhip, respectively having 4.164, 4.004, 2.800, 2.661 and 1.720 million metric tonnes of  bamboo available in these districts. Sahia and Champhai were having the lowest growing stock of  1.393 and 1.163 million metric  tonnes,  respectively.The  culm  statistics  indicated  that, Lunglei  had  the  highest number  of   culms  (1,557.85 million  culms),  followed  by Mamit, Aizawl,  Kolasib  and  Lawngtlai,  respectively  having  1,061.84, 1,020.94,  714.10  and  678.49  million  bamboo  culms.  Sahia  and Champhai were having the  lowest number  i.e. 355.29 and 296.64 million culms, respectively. The details have been mentioned below in Tables 2 and 3.

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