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BAMBOO RESOURCES IN INDIA

Why in news?

In an addressing of the Bamboo Conclave, it was said that – Bamboo is vital to India’s Post- COVID economy and will provide an opportunity for India to emerge as an economic power with the support of its Bamboo resources.

Promotion of Bamboo in India

  • Northeast consists 60% of India’s reserve of Bamboo and it is a great advantage that over the last six years highest priority has been accorded to the development of the North Eastern region.
  • The Amendment in the 100-year old Indian Forest Act, has resulted in home grown bamboo being exempted from it in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.
  • During the Lockdown Period, the MHA allowed limited activities in different sectors and also allowed the functioning of bamboo related activities like planting, process etc.
  • We have been importing a large bulk of ‘Agarbatti’ from countries like China and Vietnam, in the Post – COVID era, it is an opportunity for the North Eastern region to help India become world competitive and self-sufficient.
  • In the near future, The Ministry of North East will try to work out a time bound plan for promotion of bamboo manufacturing and trade, and also work out feasibility of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in this sector.
  • Bamboo can be processed into multiple products, including bio-diesel and green fuel, wooden lumbers and plywood, which can change the entire face of the economy and create employment opportunities in multiple sectors.

Bamboos in India

  • Bamboos are integral not only to the culture of India but that of the entire Southeast Asia and its versatility has led to the coinage of such terms as “bamboo culture”, “green gold”, “poor man’s timber”.
  • Bamboos belong to the grass family Poaceae (Gramineae). In India, there are 125 indigenous as well as exotic species of bamboos belonging to 23 genera.
  • Bamboo forests occupy an area of 10.03 million ha, roughly 12.8% of the total forest area in the country.
  • They are found in almost all the states of the country, from the tropical to the temperate regions and the alluvial plains to the high mountains, the only exception where they do not occur naturally is Kashmir.
  • Bamboo is considered to be the most efficient natural resource as far as strength vis-a-vis cost.
  • The strength of the culms, their straightness and lightness, combined with hardness, range in size, hollowness, long fibre and easy working qualities, make the bamboos suitable for a variety of purposes.
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September 2022
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