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Bamboo Government Project

Principal Investigators: 
Dr. Sylvia Mitchell
US $8,000.00

Work continued with standards development by participation in the Bamboo and Indigenous Materials Products Standards Technical Committee (BIMPSTC). Work also continued with developing in vitro methods for conserving and multiplying bamboo varieties. The Biotechnology Centre is maintaining a collection of Bamboo obtained from Clapham, Lamb’s River, Harker’s Hall and Peckham, 118 accessions in all, planted in 2017 in the UWI-Biotechnology Research Plot. Data is taken yearly on their growth. This year data taken included Base Circumference, Width of the culm, diameter of inner hole, and internode length. The number of culms produced per year per clump were also recorded. This year, three undergraduate teams from the Faculty of Engineering, supervised by Dr Omar Thomas, analysed these bamboo for density; tensile, flexural, and compression strength; and as a concrete reinforcement (slump and compression test).

CVNG3015, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, FOE

  1. Bamboo as green alternative to steel for reinforced concrete ground slab, 5 students
  2. The engineering feasibility of bamboo as a structural component in Jamaica’s construction industry, 6 students
  3. Comparing bamboo and coconut fiber as concrete reinforcement material, 2 students

The Biotechnology Centre obtained permission from the Jamaica Bauxite Company to plant bamboo on mined-out land in Rio Hoe Pen, Clapham as part of the national bamboo project. The land, to be used for bamboo research, is designated by enclosure plan 069-02-003-204 (7 hectares @ Vol 1443, Fol 551) in Rio Hoe Pen, Moneague PO, St. Ann. The National Land Agency produced a lease agreement for the land to be leased to UWI for a period of 25 years at a rental of $100,000.00 per annum with 5 yearly rent reviews. We are presently, with assistance of the other partners in this project, namely the Bureau of Standards and PIOJ seeking for a reduction of this rental due to the research nature of the request. This is needed to import two new species of bamboo species. NEPA approval is awaiting assignment of the Clapham land to the Biotechnology Centre, UWI. This activity is ongoing.

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