National Conference on Opportunities Challenges for Bamboo in India Organised
National Bamboo Mission organized a National Conference on Opportunities and Challenges for Bamboo in India on 25- 26 Feb 2021 through the virtual platform. NITI Aayog and Invest India also joined hands with the National Bamboo Mission to conduct the event. Shri Nitin Gadkari Union Minister of MSME inaugurated the conference on 25th February 2021.
The aim of the brainstorming session was to deliberate on the bamboo ecosystem for promoting the holistic growth of the sector across the entire value chain.
Some important Ideas / Challenges for Bamboo in India identified in discussions were as follows:
- Adoption of agro-forestry models by the farmers, especially to tide over the initial 3-4 years of gestation of bamboo plantation;
- Intercropping with ginger, pulses, lemon grass, etc were suggested as a viable option.
- Use of good credible planting material and improved agronomic practices to increase yields were considered to be absolutely vital for the sector.
- Plantations on culturable wastelands should be encouraged on a large scale to provide feed stock to industry.
- Integrated primary processing units for the complete utilization of bamboo i.e. a zero waste policy would lead to optimum use of bamboo in the country.
- To overcome the issue of high transport cost especially from the North Eastern Region, use of waterways and transport subsidy options need to be explored.
- Incentives available across sectors for bamboo need to be compiled for use by potential entrepreneurs.
- Steps need to be taken to encourage startups, entrepreneurship in the bamboo sector.
- The GeM portal will create a dedicated window for registration of bamboo products to add visibility of bamboo products in the electronic market space for Government procurement.
- The need for mass production related to bamboo in areas such as construction, bio CNG, ethanol etc. would provide a real fillip to the sector and add to the income of farmers.
- Import substitution should be an important aim such as for agarbatti and engineered wood. R&D and technological upgradation by linking clusters with scientific and technological institutions was stressed.
- The Government has introduced several new schemes such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and Formation of 10000 FPOs. These schemes will be dovetailed with the bamboo sector for improving credit and economies of scale for small marginal farmers respectively.
- Skill training development in agriculture, handicrafts, construction, furniture, beauty wellness through Qualification Packs of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is being undertaken by National Bamboo Mission.
- Requirement of credit was considered to be one of the major challenges facing the sector. Appropriate credit products, credit guarantee and interest subvention were flagged in the discussion as the need of the hour.
- International best practices and collaborations can be encouraged with other countries such as Japan, Vietnam etc.
The conference concluded with a valedictory session on 26th February 2021 afternoon.