Improving Farming by Using Bamboo Charcoal: National Chung Cheng University Promotes Bamboo Charcoal Probiotics to Improve Fish Farm Quality

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    With the rise in environmental awareness, bamboo has become a valuable natural resource due to its ability to grow to full size within four years. Against this background, National Chung Cheng University (CCU) focused on researching the water and air purification properties of bamboo. In addition to establishing a bamboo charcoal base and conducting research on the use of bamboo charcoal in water and medium filtering, CCU founded a living laboratory in collaboration with fish farmers from Chiayi and Indonesia. On  June 9 2020, the CCU Bamboo Charcoal Green Gold Project team organized a special information session to deepen local fish farmers’ understanding of the benefits of bamboo charcoal for ecological farming, which include abating land subsidence caused by the excessive use of underground water in fish farms.
The information session was organized by the CCU Bamboo Charcoal Green Gold Project team in cooperation with Chiayi County Aquaculture and Fisheries Production Area Development Association and was accompanied by Mr. Chang-Min Hsu, head of the Department of Agriculture. According to Mr. Hsu, in addition to improving the quality and yield of fish farm cultivation through the integration of bamboo charcoal, CCU also achieved cyclic resource utilization and promoted under-forest economy. Dr. Shi-Ming Huang, dean of the Office of Research and Development at CCU, indicated that bamboo is a representative plant for sustainable development and is used in modern Green Gold industries that seek sustainable development. CCU promotes the use of bamboo charcoal in local and international fish farming, with the hope of bringing benefits to these industries.
    During the session, Dr. Chi-Lu Wu from the Center for Nano Bio-detection at CCU explained how the team uses technology guidance to integrate bamboo charcoal science and technology with quality improvement in fish farming. According to Dr. Wu, chemical fertilizers traditionally used to regulate bacteria in cultivation may cause environmental pollution and soil contamination, whereas bamboo charcoal allows for the rapid growth of probiotics in water due to water filtration and water quality monitoring, thereby leading to improvements in water quality and feed efficiency, resulting in a healthier fish farm environment.
    The CCU team also invited Mr. Chiu, who is a fish farmer, and asked him to share the actual experience of using bamboo charcoal in the cultivation process. Mr. Chiu said, “Probiotics derived from bamboo charcoal doubled the yield in  harvests.” The CCU team used bamboo charcoal to cultivate probiotics and natural bacteria strains to improve pond bacteria, which can effectively prevent poor fishery harvest caused by saltwater intrusion and unequal rainfall distribution.

    In order to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and transform the bamboo industry, the CCU Bamboo Charcoal Green Gold Project team pays weekly visits to the living laboratory established in collaboration with Chiayi fish farmers in order to conduct monitoring, management, and sample collection. Furthermore, the CCU team also provides remote counseling to Indonesian fish farmers with regard to the development of bamboo-based ecological cultivation. Through the information sessions and collaborations with local fish farmers, the CCU team hopes to raise awareness regarding the various possibilities of using bamboo in a green economy.