Source: News Bharati English28 Sep 2016 13:57:54

New Delhi, September 28: A two-day seminar was organized by Ministry of DoNER to discuss the gaps pertaining to development of bamboo in the North Eastern region. The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated a Seminar on Bamboo Development for North Eastern region on Tuesday.
Delivering the inaugural address, Singh called for a “green gold” revolution through promotion and trade of bamboo which, he said, had a vast unexplored potential to bring about a quantum jump in the economic growth of Northeast in particular and whole of India in general. The expression “green gold” has been coined to refer to bamboo because it is a miracle plant which is often placed in the category of grass product rather than forest product and matures faster than its other peers, he added. He said that there is approximately 8.96 million hectare of forest area of this country which is covered by bamboo and Northeast is the home for over 60% of India’s bamboo reserves.

With an increased emphasis on Northeast, Singh said that the Ministry of DoNER has placed a special focus to explore the diverse avenues of bamboo resources for generating revenue, employment and economic upliftment. Bamboo finds its utility in diverse ways in the manufacture of furniture, paper and handicraft, besides its utility in building construction particularly in the earthquake seismic zones like Northeast, he added.

If pursued as a mission, Singh said, statistical projections indicate that by the year 2017, bamboo sector has the ability to create 8 million jobs and lift 5 million families above the poverty line. On behalf of the Ministry of DoNER, Singh offered Venture Fund for those of young entrepreneurs who would wish to try their fortune in bamboo industry in Northeast and this will be an additional incentive besides the other provisions available through the Government of India’s Startup initiative. He said that this experiment has already been tried with success to promote organic farming in the region. He also called for creating conditions to attract private players and boost the bamboo industry through Public Private Partnership model.

In the exclusive ‘Brahmaputra Study Center’ proposed by him for the University of Guwahati, Singh announced that a provision will also be made to set up a “Bamboo Cell” devoted to research and innovation by way of new techniques like cloning, hybrid, etc. to have better and faster quality of bamboo products.

Secretary, DoNER, Naveen Verma said that there is a huge potential for bamboo to double the income of farmers in the North East. He said that North East region comes under Zone-5 category of the seismic map and bamboo can be used to construct buildings. Verma also said that there is a need to focus on start-ups for bamboo products. He said that he expects clear cut action points from this two-day seminar.