Comparing Biomass of Beema with Guadua Bamboo

Comparing Biomass of Beema with Guadua Bamboo

Do you know how Guadua compares to "Beema" (Bambusa balcooa) in India propagated by Growmore? Beema bamboo is very thick with a small hole so I'm trying to find reliable 3rd party info on the biomass of a culm when we start harvesting, presumably at the end of year 4.



Ahmed replied:

Beema Bamboo is the solid bamboo compared to other types. “Beema” is a specially breed variety by Dr. N. Barathi of Growmore Biotech Ltd., which has a potential to grow very fast and yields very high biomass due to the fact that the wall thickness of “Beema” Bamboo is 3 times more than other bamboo. The carbon content of “Beema” Bamboo is between 46 to 48%. The dry matter production of “Beema” Bamboo under optimum condition reaches 40 to 50 tons per acre or 100 to 125 tons per hectare. The total carbon accumulation every year, after 5 years of growth is from 18 tons to 23 tons per acre, which is equivalent to 69 tons to 80 tons per acre respectively.

Due to this fact, “Beema” Bamboo acts as a “Carbon Sink”. When “Beema” Bamboo is grown individually in the gardens and parks, it sequester 400 to 500 kg. Of carbon di-oxide every year, thereby reduces the Carbon di-oxide in the surrounding places. “Beema” Bamboo generates 70 to 80 CER per acre / year, which is equivalent to 175 to 200 CER per hectare every year.

Carbon sequestration also can be obtained by generating electricity from the renewable biomass of bamboo. One acre of Bamboo produces sufficient biomass to produce 45 MW of electricity through gasification method. Apart from providing 45 CER as Carbon credit directly from the power generation, the process of Pyrolysis generates 7 ½ tons of carbon as bio-char. When the bio-char is supplied to the soil it is eligible for 28 CER as Carbon Credit. The application of bio-char to the soil enhances the crop productivity, improves soil tilth, fertility, water retention. The bio-char in the soil reduces the fertilizer quantity required as well as improves the soil quality of adverse soil resulting in growth of dense vegetation which additionally reduces the soil erosion.

Application of bio-char as soil amendment creates virtually a permanent carbon sink for over 1000 to 2000 years.


Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Thanks for copy / pasting this content from their corporate website. Unfortunately this is not a testimonial but their sales page!

It is recommended (by the company promoting this Beema Bamboo) to plant 1000 plants per acre (2470 per ha), which are harvestable in the 2nd year.

Every experienced bamboo growers knows that this is absolutely UNREALISTIC!!!

Beema Bamboo (Bambusa balcooa) is a dense clumper, at this planting distance of 4m2 per clump you could "theoretically" yield incredible amounts of biomass. But this would be true for any large timber bamboo species if planted in such density.

In fact, if 2470 Guadua angustifolia plants would be planted per hectare (instead of the recommended 238-400), the total accumulated biomass generation of 1 ha after 5 years would be: 1,548 ton, with 772 ton carbon fixation (yes, that's even ten times more then this Beema Bamboo).

Of course this is "just theory" since giant tropical bamboos can't grow to their full potential on such small distances. Furthermore, it is impossible to selectively harvest in such dense plantations. The bamboo must be clear cut after x amount of years, which beats the purpose of sustainable harvest, but it is of course a great marketing model for selling these seedlings!


Ahmed replied:

Beema Bamboo is a solid bamboo, there is no doubt about that. Beema bamboo is cloned from an Indian variety of bamboo. From the recent govt research, it was proven that Beema bamboo results in high biomass. It has proven that just 200 acres are required to generate 1MW of electricity.

Beema bamboo grows at the speed of 1-1/2 feet per day.


Robin replied:

Hello Stephane, what kind of bamboo would you suggest for an 300 acre energy plantation?


Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

There are plenty bamboo species that can be planted for energy production, but it will depend in what climate and soil you're planning to grow the bamboo. In tropical climates Bambusa, Dendrocalamus, and Guadua would do best since they are all giant timber genera. In temperate climates Phyllostachys would be the best choice.

I'm not saying that Beema bamboo or Bambusa balcooa aren't suited for energy production, just be careful with those astronomical yield projections.


Ahmed replied:

If you are planning to plant the Energy plantation. I would suggest you to plant the Beema Bamboo for those 300 acres. Because there are plenty of reasons for planting Beema:

  • You can plant up to 1000 plants / acre or 2500 / Ha
  • Can start yielding from the second year
  • Contains high biomass
  • Thornless
  • Thick walled


Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Ahmed, if you say that bamboo can be harvested 2 years after planting then I'm 100% sure you do not have any experience with bamboo cultivation nor are your a trustworthy source or good ambassador for Growmore Biotech, sorry.

Such claims do not only harm that company, it also harms the overall perception towards the bamboo industry in general. It's about time all these "too good to be true" stories about bamboo come to an end.


Bob replied:

I found the real contents of this post was not a comparison between Beema and Guadua but a battle between their respective supporters namely Ahmed and Stephane. I myself planted Beema since June 2011 and it is so good so far. Thick walled & high density, suitable for biomass production. That's all what I can inform to you all. Wishing you all the best.


Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Again Bob, I am not saying Beema bamboo isn't a good biomass producer, I am only disputing the REAL yield numbers here. You say it is a thick walled and high density bamboo which we already know, the question is how many (scientifically proven) tons of biomass are you currently harvesting per hectare per year?


Steve Suarez replied:

I live in the Philippines and I am interested to know if there are matured Beema bamboo plantations here in our country for us to see. It's really hard to convince other people about the potential of this variety as a biomass fuel until we can see a demo or pilot plantation and power plant working in tandem successfully.


Joseph replied:

We have a 30 hectare plantation of Beema in the Philippines. We started to plant in the first area in May 2012. The plants are now 9 meters high and all are thick walled.

Typhoon Haiyan bent some of the taller bamboo clumps so we had to cut them. All of them were thick walled about 25 mm thick.

If you want to visit the plantation you have to travel to Tablas Island, Romblon. We are in the town of Odiongan.


N. Barathi replied:

Dear Mr.Stephen,
I regret to note the comments made by you on Beema bamboo. I am Dr. Barathi, bamboo scientist from India who has developed the Beema bamboo and intensive farming in bamboo.
Beema bamboo is the superior genetic selection made by me out of Bambusa balcooa and I am sure other bamboo scientists can also develop good genetic clones from other species of bamboo.
There are many Beema bamboo farms available in India and abroad. It is not theoretical but practically it is happening. I am sure you would know that a crop like sugarcane is planted with 30,000 plants in an acre yielding 40 tons to 100 tons per acre in one year's time. I have been working in sugarcane for a decade developed the intensive farming in Beema bamboo with only 1,000 plants and to give 40 tons after 2 years. I am sure you are aware that bamboo grows 10 times faster than sugarcane and 3 times taller than sugarcane.
Thanks Mr. Bob, Mr. Joseph and Mr. Ahmed for sharing your experience of Beema bamboo.
I am thankful to "Guadua Bamboo - Bamboo Forum" to bring up the discussion and post these comments.


GPS replied:

I am a farmer in the TARAI area of Uttarakhand. I am considering to go in for a bamboo plantation, to replace, Poplars. In my quest for elite planting material, I have travelled across most parts of india (Bamboo growing regions- Bihar, Orissa, M.P, Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra etc and have been in touch with quite a few universities.
I have collected 5 to 6 genotypes, which I found interesting and having good growth potential. I have made a small little nursery plot to study- and eventually select suitable genotype(s) to scale-up.
I also got in touch with GROWMORE - requested them to provide cuttings - which they refused. They said that they will sell a minimum of 1000 tissue cultured plants, and that they were patented property. When I mentioned that my interest was to procure a few mother plants, for further vegetative propagation I was refused any planting material and was told that multiplication by V.P method would BE ILLEGAL, which I doubt very much.
I would like to highlight that the so called beema bamboo exists in Bihar, M.P etc and is not a "new" finding, thereby not patentable. 

Yes I am inclined to believe that growmore is a scumbag.


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