It is hard to imagine any other plant that influences the mind and the body more than bamboo. The plant is intimately connected to the lives 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, graceful 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, at the same time, the food itself, the vessel that 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 into  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)  to  cater to the information and training requirements of the different stakeholders.

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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