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Bamboo in India

Bamboo in India

Bamboo is part of rural livelihood in developing counties like India.

  • Due to its versatile nature and multiple uses, it is also called ‘poor man’s timber’.
  • Though it grows tall like a tree, it belongs to the grass family.
  • It can withstand drought as well as flood.

India is second only to China in terms of bamboo diversity.

India is blessed with 148 species of bamboo with 29 genera.

Bamboo is grown on 10 million hectares in India and covers almost 13 per cent of the total forest area. The total production of bamboo is five million tonnes per year.

  • Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under bamboo forests. Bamboo culture thrives in the North Eastern region.

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Significance: Most of the bamboo is distributed in forest areas and has a significant contribution to ecology such as improving wildlife habitats, forest hydrology as well as providing opportunities for livelihood development of the rural poor.

  • It helps to reduce the effect of climate change by releasing more Oxygen than trees and sequencing more Carbon on soil.
  • It can improve water holding capacity of the watershed areas by 20% to 25%.

Contribution: About 8.6 million people depend on bamboo for their livelihood. The value of bamboo in India is estimated at $4.4 billion.

  • Bengaluru (Kempegowda) Airport terminal showcases the versatility of bamboo as an architectural and structural material.
  • It has been defined as ‘green steel’.

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About Advisory Group

Chairperson: Union Agriculture Secretary will be the Chairperson of the committee.

Mission Director of National Bamboo Mission will be the Convener.

Objective: To integrate the bamboo initiatives of the Ministries/Departments and to assist in redesigning the sector’s structural framework for development by incorporating synergy between all of the sections related to the bamboo value chain.

  • Advisory Group will provide advice on the areas that should receive special attention as well as the policy interventions that should be implemented in consultation with other stakeholders.
  • Advisory Group will advise on bamboo propagation, primary processing, product development, value addition, market infrastructure and linkages, processing equipment, skill development, and other concerns.

Read about: Gasht-e Ershad

National Bamboo Mission

  • It was restructured and launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme during 2018-19.
  • It aims to make the benefits of this growing industry accessible to farmers and human resources throughout the nation.
  • The Mission is primarily concerned with the development of the entire value chain of the bamboo sector in order to connect producers with consumers.

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Recommendation to Promote Bamboo Sector in India

Establish a full-fledged Institution for Bamboo on the lines of the Coir Board, Tea Board and Rubber Board among others for promoting Bamboo based economic enterprise, creating an accurate bamboo resource inventory and coordinating with different ministries supporting bamboo activities.

Create and Develop Bamboo Special Economic Zones in bamboo resource rich areas or states, focusing on “one economically important bamboo species” as per a Growth pole strategy.

  • A ‘species focused’ approach will help the Indian bamboo sector compete with other Asian bamboo industries.

Improve R&D in bamboo by introducing incentivisation in the system where at least 30% to 40% patent revenue is shared with the Scientists doing the R&D.

The Bamboo industry generates over 80% waste so it would be strategic to incentivize such industries to convert waste into innovative products.

  • Subsidies could be provided to ancillary industries to process bamboo waste.

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