MP exhorts youth to undergo training in bamboo technology

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 18th Sep: Bamboo Forum of India observed the World Bamboo Day on the theme, ‘Bamboo for Sustainable Development Goals’ at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound here Wednesday.
Speaking as chief guest of the function, Lok Sabha (Inner) MP RK Ranjan said that he came to know of the importance of Bamboo in Chinese civilization after watching the film, ‘Bamboo and culture of China’. China became the top exporter of bamboo and its products after the launch of bamboo mission across the world. Although Manipur is a little late, it has been using bamboo and its products since time immemorial.
Stating that people should understand that 70- percent of sustainable livelihood is dependent on bamboos, Ranjan said that the function was organised to highlight the importance and benefits of bamboos. Out of the 136 known species of bamboo, 54 of them are found in Manipur. In addition, Manipur has 9 genera out of the known 23 genera of bamboos. However, the state has been unable to utilize the bamboos as a means of improving the state’s economy, he observed while pointing out that the first churches and mosques build in the state were made of bamboos. Bamboos are regarded as an important material in developed countries, he added.
RK Ranjan then said that as per the Forest Department, the income earned from bamboos in the state is around Rs 0.43 million per year. In addition, various technologically indigenous designs of bamboo products are being used in the state. As such, he urged the people to help in increasing the production of bamboos in the state.
The MP further urged the unemployed youth of the state to participate in skill-development training programmes of bamboo technology under Bamboo Mission and help in ensuring the success of Make-in-Manipur. In addition, it is also possible that there could be some bamboo species in the state, which are yet to be documented, if a Bamboo policy for the state were to be formulated.
Thus, Ranjan urged all concerned in the State to discuss ways on how to excel in bamboo-based food products of South East Asia before the Act East policy takes effect.
In his speech, WBO&CF, SABF former president Kamesh Salam urged for preservation of the various bamboo species in the state. For this, the people need to be aware of how to best utilize the bamboo by understanding the concept of value chain in detail. He further said that skill development is necessary to increase the production bamboo products. However, the state does not have a proper skill development agency for bamboos till date, he added.
Remaking that people considered bamboo products to be of inferior quality, Kamesh said that the most common arguments are on its longevity and possible termite infestation. It should be noted that there are various treatment processes to make bamboos termite proof. However, it is difficult to know if the products made by state craftsmen have been treated or not, he said, adding that the production process has many ‘holes’.
Although China and Vietnam are considered to be top producers of bamboo, the former president remarked that around 3 million incense sticks are burned per day in India while another 7 crore is produced for the market of which 4 crore incense sticks are being imported to other countries including China and Vietnam.
Kamesh said that a Manipur Bamboo Policy should be in place so as to initiate the requisite works in the state, especially with ban on plastics which has further called for alternatives. This is the best opportunity and moment for preservation and promotion of bamboo and bamboo products, he added.
Presided over by MHHDC chairman and Planning deputy chairman MLA S Rajen, the function was attended by Manipur State Minorities Commission chairperson Md Anwar Hussain as guest of honour.
As part of the function, a souvenir on World Bamboo Day was released, which was later followed by felicitation of bamboo pioneers of the state.


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