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Hormilson Cruz Ríos
Hormilson Cruz Rios, a Colombian-Mexican agronomic engineer graduated from Colombia’s University of Caldas, has conducted numerous research studies and has worked exclusively in bamboo for more than 25 years. There is not a single aspect of bamboo that he has not delved into, studied, researched and developed. As a bamboo researcher, forester and industrialist, he has integrally combined agriculture and forestry with industrial and financial management.
He was research director at the National Center for Bamboo and Guadua Studies in Colombia. As Director of the International Center for Agricultural Research and Training (CIICA) in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, he was responsible for overseeing and directing research efforts across all aspects related to bamboo.
He has carried out scientific research and in-depth studies that led him to discover the dynamic of plant nutrient extraction from seedtime to the age of seven years, low-cost fertilization techniques and methodologies, biomass generation and carbon sequestration not only in commercial plantations, but also in natural forests. He made the most complete study on the morphology of the Guadua and its relationship with physiology, including optimum soil fertility characterization for the establishment of bamboo, growth pattern of the Guadua under different climatologic conditions, optimum soil pH, and recommended distancing of plants according to the final use of the stalks produced. He has also carried out studies on how to preserve large quantities of stalks at the same time with vacuum preservation methods employing autoclave.
He has worked not only in natural bamboo forests, but also in the establishment of large commercial plantations. After working as a researcher, he completed his technical and scientific studies with administrative and financial studies, specializing in financial projections, project evaluation, production estimation, financial statements, markets, and bamboo commercialization. Due to the foregoing, he was hired by the multinational Plenus Group of Monterrey, Mexico, to create, develop and direct the largest commercial plantation of Guadua angustifolia that has been established in the world to date.
Owing to his vast knowledge and experience, he is considered an integral expert in all aspects relating to the Guadua. He is currently considered the most knowledgeable person in the world in the establishment and management of Guadua commercial plantations employing business criteria. He is a precursor in the development of Guadua bamboo as a plant that not only offers environmental services, but generates income and improves living standard of society.
At an industrial level, he was the first person to introduce bamboo laminates to Colombia. He has participated with several persons in the development of in-depth business plans, which show the benefits of timber bamboo production. He has also participated in the development of comprehensive business plans for industrial production of cellulose and paper using bamboo as raw material.
Considered one of the most prolific bamboo authors, he has written eight books. His first book, La Guadua, Nuestro Bambú, published in 1993, created rules and guidelines for writing books and was used as a model, especially in forestry universities. His second book, Bambu Guadua; Guadua angustifolia, Bosques Naturales y Plantaciones Comerciales, is a profound, up-to-date and practical scientific book and the most complete text that can be found in existing bibliography relating to Guadua bamboo. This book has also been published.
The other books are: Fertilización técnica y dinámica de extracción de nutrimentos en Bambú Guadua; Generación de Biomasa y secuestro de Carbono en Bambú Guadua; Viabilidad técnica y financiera en el establecimiento de plantaciones comerciales de Bambú Guadua; Análisis financiero y Producción de madera ingenierizada de bambú; Producción industrial de celulosa y papel utilizando como materia prima el bambú. These books will be published soon.
He considers that bamboos are one of the most important plants within the plant kingdom as a source of renewable energy. High biomass production led him to engage in small-scale production of vegetal carbon and briquettes, as well as studies on production of biomass to be used as raw material for electrical energy cogeneration, pellets, bioethanol and ecological timber.
He is the general director of Bamboo Guadua Premier, a company dedicated to providing consultancy and advisory services on different bamboo topics, such as the establishment of commercial plantations, natural forest management, analysis and implementation of industrial timber bamboo production projects, cellulose and paper production, electrical energy cogeneration, and production of pellets, briquettes, ecological timber, and bioethanol.
He is currently focusing all his efforts on the establishment of large commercial plantations and subsequent development of large industrial projects using different bamboo species.
Hormilson Cruz Rios considers that in America a serious error is being made when all types of bamboo projects want to be done only with Guadua angustifolia, without knowing that there are more than 30 giant bamboo species with several properties suitables in industrial projects.
He was the president of the organization of the third bamboo congress and president in Mexico for the organization and realization of the 11th World Bamboo Congress.
He is co-founder of the Mexican company called Sur Bambu that now is developing plantations in Campeche State and industries as engineered wood and pellets production in Veracruz State, Mexico