It is hard to imagine any other plant that influences the mind and the body more than the bamboo. It is so intimately connected to the daily life of people of many cultures around the world. For ages, it has inspired music and poetry and many a painter has wielded the brush to bring out the charm of the tall jointed stems and the feathery foliage. To biologists trying to unravel its mysteries, it is still an enigma and a challenge.

The extremely fast growth of this tall grass is legendary. For a world craving for renewable biomass, this group of plants comes as a boon in the form of energy plantations, paper pulp or as the newest eco-friendly alternative to timber. The strong and resilient stems had traditionally served the poorest of people in the construction of their homes. In modern times it has however entered into a new realm – that of a versatile industrial raw material and of products with unique properties and range of uses. Bamboo is an important ingredient of the cuisine of a large number of people in countries of Asia. It is food itself and at the same time, the vessel it is cooked and served in and the cutlery to eat it with!

The Kerala Forest Research Institute at Peechi, Thrissur, India has been a pioneer in research on bamboo in India. With a wide repertoire of expertise in scientific disciplines that researchers have acquired and nurtured over the past three decades, KFRI has matured as a centre of excellence in bamboo research. This has led to the recognition by the National Bamboo Mission which selected KFRI to host the Bamboo Technical Support Group ( BTSG) -South Zone to cater to the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa.

BIC-India is now launched with the Bamboo Bibliography, the directory of researchers, artisans/manufacturers and a Database of bamboo species. Soon to be added is the digital access to the Bamboo collection in the KFRI Herbarium. There is more to come.

Come savor the exquisite world of bamboo through these pages.

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