Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar virtually addressed the inaugural session of ‘National Consultation on Opportunities and Challenges for Bamboo in India’ today. The 2-day long Manthan on Bamboo sector is jointly organized by National Bamboo Mission, NITI Aayog and ‘Invest India’.Addressing the gathering Shri Tomar said that the Union government is putting in due diligence in developing the bamboo sector since it is evident that it can be a key crop to double farmers’ income, increase employment opportunities and improve the livelihood of the people, especially in the North East region. Shri Tomar also emphasized the formation of FPOs to encourage small and marginal farmers for taking up bamboo plantation as it will ensure hand-holding of the groups for providing correct procedures for raising nurseries and plantations. He urged the states to send proposals for the formation of FPOs for the bamboo sector.As it is very difficult to identify the species and quality of bamboo at the seedling stage, the Minister appreciated ‘National Bamboo Mission’ for preparing the guidelines for accreditation of nurseries and certification of planting material. “States are now in the process of accrediting nurseries and details are available in the public domain to guide farmers and industry as to where they can get good planting material”, he added.Talking about the achievements in the bamboo sector the Minister said that commercially important bamboos have been planted in an area of 15000 hectares in the last 3 years.To ensure Quality Planting Materials supply to the farmers, 329 nurseries were set up under the mission.
The National Bamboo Mission has set up 79 bamboo markets. These activities can be seen as pilot projects to establish a model of the bamboo-based local economy. He said that the synergy of interventions of the mission, public sector and private entrepreneurs will accelerate the efforts of the government to improve the status of farmers and the local economy.The Minister revealed that bamboo plays an important role in the Indian agarbatti industry. This section of business has been growing every year. Around 60% of the bamboo sticks in the Indian agarbatti industry were imported. Union Government including National Bamboo Mission and KVIC is giving a thrust to augment domestic incense stick production to cut down dependence on imports. He said that in the bamboo-based industries, the increased use of domestic raw material would support PM’s call for ‘Vocal for Local’.The Agriculture Minister emphasized that the government will promote the use of bamboo in premium eco-tourism destinations, modern buildings and resorts. He also said that the use of bamboo will be encouraged in the Pradhan MantriAwasYojana-Rural for which the Ministry of Rural Development has prepared the necessary models.Speaking about the importance of the2-day long national consultation, the Minister said a multi-sectoral approach is required to develop the sector in which resources and expertise from various ministries, departments, national institutes, entrepreneurs and farmers have to be dovetailed in a harmonized manner. The two days of discussion will be a good opportunity to evaluate the achievements and potential of all the stakeholders for augmenting the scientific, technical and most importantly the commercial approach to set up Indian bamboo products in their rightful place in global markets.Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for MSME, Shri Kailash Choudhary, MoS, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Advisor to PM,Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Shri Indevar Pandey, Special Secretary, DONER along with various stakeholders participated in the inaugural session.