Bamboo & Oil Palm Plantation

In 1999, the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) embarked on a large scale outreach program to study tropical bamboo silviculture design within an oil palm plantation. The research project was developed with Golden Hope Plantations in Bradwall Estate, Siliau, Rantau, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia. 

We took the opportunity to study the growth of the bamboo from 1999 to 2011 to gain a better understanding on soil biodiversity. In particular the natural soil-nitrifying bacteria Nitrosomonas.The sustainable development goal of the project was to evaluate on a pathway to design a future generation of oil palm plantation that are grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers. The extensive use of synthetic chemical fertilizers is the main contributor to nitrate leaching into our soil and atmosphere. Creating a negative image for oil palm plantation. The introduction of tropical clumping bamboo and vetiver bamboo grass, as a companion crop was an approach to evaluate the possible long term benefits derived from this symbiotic relationship through the creation of living soils to sustain the production of fresh fruit bunches for oil production.