Investing in Bamboo Plantations
Don't just Invest in Bamboo, OWN your Plantation!
You can find bamboo investment opportunities all over the internet these days, companies offering lease packages for bamboo plantations with very attractive returns. Unfortunately, many of these high yield investment programs are based on incorrect yield forecasts and unrealistic returns.
Full Control, 100% Ownership!
We have all heard about bamboo investment scams and forestry companies vanishing from the face of the earth after a few years. So why would you take the risk to lease or rent bamboo, if you could OWN a bamboo plantation instead!
Guadua Bamboo is the pioneer in terms of offering professional services for bamboo plantation investors on the basis of OWNING your bamboo farm for the full 100%. This revolutionary approach may require more resources than leasing a few bamboo clumps, but the outcome is much safer and definitely more rewarding.
Since it takes 8-9 years before a newly planted bamboo plantation is considered mature and reaches its full yield potential, most investors tend to forget that planting bamboo is still a forestry activity. Guadua bamboo is not a vegetable that is going to generate revenue in just one year after planting! Any investment package that promises high returns from bamboo in the first years after planting is most likely a Ponzi scheme (which generally works for early investors until the bubble bursts).
Why our bamboo investments are different:
- Own your bamboo plantation and crop for the full 100%.
- Choose who buys your crop and at what price.
- Sell your plantation at any time.
Guadua Bamboo provides investors all the necessary services to successfully own, grow and sell bamboo. Furthermore, you are, and will always remain in full control of your bamboo plantation!
Growing Bamboo to Replace Conventional Timbers
Although Guadua angustifolia is native to South America and proven to be generating similar or higher revenues compared to traditional tree plantations, there actually exist very few professionally managed commercial Guadua bamboo plantations. Unlike teak, melina or eucalyptus for example, bamboo still does not have the same cash crop status among local growers, mainly because there are no regional institutes or companies that offers technical support and assistance for bamboo growers and investors.
The demand and awareness for green products and bamboo in industrialized countries is rapidly increasing, which forces businesses to innovate and create new eco friendly products and applications. The down side of this trend is obvious, the stress on natural bamboo forests, mainly in Asia, is becoming a big concern. Lame policies and corruption allow less conscious corporations to eliminate entire bamboo grooves with the blink of an eye, which brings us back to the main problem: Deforestation.
For those reasons bamboo must be cultivated on a larger scale and in a professionally managed manner. Mature bamboo can be selectively harvested on a yearly basis without re-planting, whereas traditional timber species are clear felled every 15-25 years.
Bamboo, and especially giant timber bamboos have the potential to substitute most to all conventional wood derived products in a sustainable way. Even high tech materials such as plastics, steel, and fiber glass could be replaced with a combination of bamboo fibers and ecological resins.
But, as with any business or investment, it is absolutely crucial to fully understand the industry you are about to invest in, failing to do so is putting all your faith (and hard earned cash) in the hands of a potentially inexperienced or unreliable bamboo grower, broker or trader.
Guadua Bamboo Plantations for Sale in Colombia
Guadua Bamboo offers newly planted bamboo farms for sale in the Valle de Cauca, Colombia with property title in your name (or company name). All our bamboo farms are selected on optimal climate and soil conditions, fertility, topography and strategic location. All future crops that these bamboo farms are going to produce are already reserved for purchase by our partners in the USA and Europe!
Guadua Bamboo can maintain your plantation for an optional maintenance fee per hectare per year. Although annual maintenance is optional, we strongly advice to take advantage of this service since un-fertilized bamboo plantations may produce yields that are 50-60% lower than fertilized plantations. Therefore projected revenues may also be 50-60% lower.
We do not bind investors to any long term contracts with Guadua Bamboo. This means you are free to maintain and manage the plantation yourself or by any 3rd party forestry management company of your choice.
What is the Annual Projected Revenue for a Commercial Guadua Bamboo Plantation?
Guadua Bamboo can pay an annual fee per hectare for your bamboo crop, starting at the end of year 7, and every year after that. In the first 3 years of development we intercrop with several vegetable species that are sold in the local market. The revenue generated from these yields helps to cover the initial maintenance cost of the bamboo farm. All legal fees for the transfer of the land title and maintenance costs for the first 3 years of the Guadua bamboo farm are included in the purchase price.
Although each investor is free to sell their crop (or entire plantation) to any third party at any time, Guadua Bamboo will always offer to buy all bamboo crops from the farm owner on an annual basis as shown in the chart below (on a per hectare basis).
Purchase / Ha
Maintenance / Ha
Income / Ha
Please remember that buying one of our newly planted bamboo plantations is first and foremost a real estate investment, not an "investment package". The value of farm land instantly increases when bamboo is planted and will substantially increase once the plantation has matured.
We do not ask you to invest in our company, nor would we want you to gamble with your savings. We simply provide a safe and secure investment opportunity to own a professionally managed bamboo farm, and help you earn realistic returns from those bamboo crops. Why are our numbers realistic? Because these are the market prices we currently pay when we harvest our bamboo from 3rd party plantation owners. In other words, just plain and simple experience!
Frequently asked questions:
1) For how long will i get paid?
You will continue to earn revenue each year since bamboo plantations keep producing stems until mass flowering occurs (every 60-100 years).
When gregarious flowering occurs, bamboo plantation may die after seed setting. This period of seed setting usually continues for 3-5 consecutive years in which new seedlings re-populate the plantation. These new seedling again have a life cycle of 60-100 years.
In conclusion, a bamboo plantation has the capacity to produce timber forever, which is proven by the current presence of native Guadua forest in Colombia, first "discovered" by Spanish Colonials in the 16th century. However, ancient writings dating back as far as 9,500 years ago already indicated the use of bamboo in these areas of Ecuador and Colombia.
2) You state that Guadua only starts generating full yield potential in year 8-9. Why is there a return as soon as year 7?
Between year 4 and 7 there is a substantial production of small diameter Guadua stems on a commercial plantation. Since we have contracts in place to supply bamboo chips and fibers for the production of composite panels we do not only rely on selling large diameter bamboo poles but also on pure biomass. The accumulated biomass generated between year 4 and 7 equals out to an average of 3,500$ per hectare in revenue for the farm owner.
3) Why is intercrop revenue in year 3 lower than in its pervious 2 years?
Since bamboo clumps take up more and more space each year there is less space for intercropping in year 3.
4) How can I purchase a Guadua Bamboo farm if I am not able to sign for the title transfer myself in Colombia?
- To buy one of our titled Guadua Bamboo farms in Colombia both the BUYER and SELLER must sign a Pre-Purchase Agreement (PA), an Escrow Agreement and a Power of Attorney to any trusty of choice.
- When all 3 documents are signed, the BUYER agrees to deposit into an escrow account 30% of the total sale price.
- 30 days after signing the (PA), the BUYER shall deposit into the escrow account the remaining 70% of the total sale price.
- Between these two payments, the SELLER agrees to obtain and manage all legal documents, taxes, permits and authorizations necessary for the title transfer and ownership of the Guadua Bamboo farm in Colombia.
- As soon as all the necessary arrangements for the transfer of the property have been made, the deed containing the final contract of sale must be signed (by either the BUYER or TRUSTY). When the property title is legally transferred in favor of the BUYER, the escrow will then proceeds with the transfer of funds held in custody.
5) Aren't there price increments for bamboo each year?
Yes there are, and investors will always receive the most competitive prices. However it is impossible to predict the market price for bamboo in say 10 or 15 years, therefore we keep our projections as basic as possible. Same is true for annual maintenance costs, which may also increase over time but since we only work with annual renewable contracts, the investor will always know in advance and be able to decide on new agreements with Guadua Bamboo on an annual basis.
6) How can I increase my annual revenue?
To increase annual revenue of your plantation, owners will need to establish additional manufacturing facilities to add value to their raw materials. This can go from producing simple handicrafts to the production of industrial engineered panels, floors, beams, etc. Obviously this approach will require much more resources, know-how and involvement. Guadua Bamboo does not offer consultancy in this regard but can help to promote and distribute the final products.
7) Are there any discounts for larger plantation purchases?
Yes there are, discounts apply for 100-200-300-400 and 500 ha plantations. Guadua bamboo plantations of min 500 ha are also eligible to apply and receive carbon credits.
8) What about taxes?
New forestry plantations and sawmills, are granted a permanent exemption on income tax when they are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture. Property taxes are levied on the cadastral value of the properties as assessed by the municipalities (between 0.4% - 1.6% depending on the location). We also have specialized accountants available to consult or assist you with all tax related issues.
9) Can I sell my plantation?
Yes, you can sell your plantation to any 3rd party at any time, or have us advertise your farm here on GuaduaBamboo.com. Producers (big and small) of value added bamboo products are always looking for opportunities to purchase and control their own source of bamboo. Remember that very few manufacturers grow bamboo in advance. Buying a mature plantation is often their best option to guarantee a continuous supply, and to avoid fluctuating market prices of the raw material in the future.
10) Why Colombia?
Colombia has the most advanced bamboo industry in Latin America, and was the first country in the world to have FSC certified Guadua bamboo forests under sustainable management. A lot of pioneer work in bamboo construction and engineered products has been conducted by National universities and private enterprises. Ongoing scientific studies also continue to reveal the astonishing structural and mechanical properties of Guadua angustifolia which can be applied in countless high tech uses and applications.
Apart from its long history with Guadua bamboo, Colombia is also one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and the 5th safest country in the world to protect its investors. The country has made a 180 degree turn by successfully fighting terrorists groups and drug cartels that once dominated the country, and is now emerging as a regional economic powerhouse built on foreign investment and trade.
Our Strategic Partners
For our plantation projects in Colombia, we collaborate closely with Guadua forestry engineers, designers and industrial engineers from the National University and private companies in the USA and Europe.
Our strategic American and European partners, who use your crop to manufacture innovative bamboo composite and laminate products, buy all their raw bamboo materials from Guadua Bamboo, while we buy from our partnering plantation investors.
In other words, we have created a full circle, secure bamboo business model which is beneficial for every party involved. Additionally, we also create a lot of new direct and indirect employment in rural areas which need it the most.
Interested to own a Guadua Bamboo Plantation in Colombia?
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Ask a Question or Share Your Comments:
What is the best country to invest in Guadua bamboo plantations?
I currently have invested in softwoods in El Salvador, but want to diversify into bamboo plantations, so what's the best place/country to invest, grow and process Guadua bamboo? Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua or Costa Rica?
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
Essentially Guadua can grow in all of Central America, but it is key to:
- Have the availability to high quality planting materials.
- Find the best site location in terms of soil, and climate conditions.
- Have a professional team with experience in bamboo cultivation.
- Have access to a wide network of clients for the sales of your crop or finial product.
When to Expect First Income Revenue for Bamboo?
I am somewhat confused from the data on this site. In one area I read, commercial stems at 10 cm, will need nine years to develop for harvest and in another that commercial stems of 10 cm in diameter would start after year 5! Is it true income-revenue can be expected during year six?
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
Commercial sized stems of at least 10 cm in diameter usually start to occur 4-5 years after planting. However these stems have to mature (become woody) for another 4 years before they can be cut. That's why you can harvest commercial sized stems for the first time 8-9 years after planting. From then on every single year since the plantation reached its maturity.
Bamboo Market Price
What is the market price for bamboo, and for how much (USD) raw bamboo can be sold for. Can you direct me to where I might find the current market prices for raw bamboo and how this process occurs. I'd like to project potential profits before I decide to invest in a bamboo farm.
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
Market prices for raw bamboo depend strongly from country to country, species, diameter, standing price, harvested price, etc.
To give you an example at a commercial plantation in Costa Rica, Guadua angustifolia is sold at a farm gate price between 0.87$ - 1.34$ green per lineal meter (depending the diameter). In other South American countries buyers might pay between 1 - 4$ per standing culm.
Minimum Area for a Profitable Bamboo Plantation
What is the minimium area to at least have a profit for bamboo, especially if you only grow for poles? When can you expect income for pole production, in a small scale level? Yes, there is money in bamboo, but it is the flooring and other stuff already, which for sure small farmers can't afford to set up such facilities. So, again what is the minimum area? Thanks. This site is very helpful.
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
Any size plantation can be profitable whether it is 1 ha or 10,000 hectares. The question you should ask is: How are you planning to sell the bamboo?
Will you (or a partner) be making value added products from the bamboo and what kind of product? Or will you be growing bamboo to target a specific market? The end use of the crop plays a crucial role. For the energy or biomass industry you would need large scale cultivation, but this is not the case for niche products such as handicrafts or furniture. Maybe there is a local need for a certain bamboo product such as fencing poles or props for tomato growers.
Whether you grow on a small or a large scale, there will always be a market for bamboo. The key is to find out who needs what (poles, pulp, chips, etc.) and at what quantity. Once you have pinpoint the potential market and what price they would pay for the product, you'll have to calculate operation and transportation costs to determine your potential profit.
Always keep in mind the importance of location. Growing bamboo in remote areas with no road access and no available labor force could make your entire business plan go bust. You will also need to determine which species to grow. This again, depends on the end use for the bamboo and climate conditions of the area.
As you can see, it takes much more research and study before you can start planting bamboo for profit. So if I may give one advice, do not pursue bamboo just because of the potential financial rewards. As with any business, easy money doesn't exist!
Let's assume a revenue of $1 per linear foot of pole, selling untreated poles directly to a buyer (there's the key: find a buyer). There are 43500 sq ft in an acre. Assume an average total of one linear foot of pole per square foot of land. At $1/linft, that's $43k/year. Let's assume $0.10/linear-foot, and 4 square feet per linear foot: that's $1k in revenue.
So there you have it: upper and lower bounds. You can imagine that for ever 4 square feet, a 4-year culm will produce a 20 foot cane. Harvesting every 4 square foot patch on a 4-year rotation would mean 2700 canes harvested per year. If those canes are 20' long and sell for $0.10/foot, then you've got 20 * .1 * 2700 = $5400/acre/year, not even trying very hard! Just wait twenty years till you've got an acre of 60' tall, 6" diameter moso!
The simplest added-value projects in the US would be selling potted culms ($5-$30/gal plant) or making woven mats or privacy/garden screens ($1-$5/sqft). Other ideas: Selling edible bamboo shoots to a local co-op / health food store, raising a pig or ducks in the understory, or making bamboo bike frames ($100-$2k/frame) and trailers. Looks like you need reliable buyers, and multiple products, to make more than a thousand dollars per year.
Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:
Indeed diversification is good tactics to maximize the revenue for a bamboo plantations. Using different parts of the culms for both low and high-end markets is common practice (keep in mind that every part of the bamboo culm can be utilized).
Culms could be used for light and temporary construction kits, such as pergolas or wedding arbors. Even the leaves could be used or sold as animal fodder while branches and culm tips could be chipped into mulch.
So many uses, so many opportunities with bamboo,...become passionate and you'll surely find your niche.