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The role of Phyllostachys heterocycla var. pubescens in the life of local residents in Guilin Township, Shaowu, P. R. China

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The bamboo species of Phyllostachys heterocycla var. pubescens grows so widely in Guilin Township, Shaowu, Fujian, China that it was chosen by the government as the key to alleviate the poverty of the local residents and enhance their revenue. The first step the government took is to assess the role of the bamboo in the life of the local residents. An investigation on the area of bamboo plantation owned by each household and a questionnaire survey were carried out in the summer of 1999 and 2002, respectively. The results showed that most households owned more or less bamboo plantations; bamboo was used as construction material, firewood, food, and was processed into dried bamboo shoot. The ratio of bamboo income to whole income of most households varied from 0 to 70 percent. The income of bamboo was mainly sourced from dried bamboo shoot and was used to buy daily life need items like oil, salt, and clothes to high-level life need items like televisions, motorcycles, and washing machines, etc. The income was also used to pay tuition for children and deposited in banks for big events such as marriage and house-building in the future. Most households did not want to give up bamboo plantations or change them into other plants. It is concluded from this that the bamboo species really plays an important role in the life of local residents in Guilin Township.


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