NITI Aayog organized a national-level workshop on bamboo development today. Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated the workshop, along with NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, Member Dr VK Saraswat, and CEO Amitabh Kant.
Through the workshop, participants sought to holistically understand all components of the bamboo value chain—plantation, production, processing, standardization and utilization—in order to develop strategies and a roadmap for the development of a circular economy in the sector. As many as 150 participants attended the workshop, both online and offline.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh highlighted the urgent need for raising public awareness about the untapped potential of bamboo and encouraged the establishment of entrepreneurial start-ups in the sector. He characterized bamboo as ‘green gold’, recognizing its crucial role in uplifting the Indian economy in the post-Covid scenario.
He added, ‘Bamboo can be used for making bio-ethanol, which would reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel, thereby achieving the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat in the petroleum sector.’
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar said, ‘Bamboo is a natural product that can benefit many industries. The need of the hour is to work on increasing the supply and meet the growing demand for bamboo and its products. There is a strong need to promote the bamboo sector across all states with the development of entrepreneurship amongst farmers and the youth.’
‘The construction sector in India presents tremendous growth opportunities for bamboo, owing to its unique features. Its versatility as a substitute offers a chance to protect forests; it has immense economic and business potential,’ added NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Saraswat.
The workshop had four technical sessions. The first explored the production, value addition, and international experience of bamboo. The second emphasized on government policies, programmes, and opportunities in different sectors. The third deliberated upon a circular economy in the sector, focusing on the techno-commercial utilization of bamboo-based industries. The last session discussed national and international best practices.
The workshop was attended by participants from Central ministries, state governments, KVKs, industry, academic and research institutions, and NGOs. Key players from the private sector, including bamboo enthusiasts, shared their experience and innovative ideas to enhance the development of bamboo in the country.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, ‘From the point of view of job creation and ecological and economic development in India, bamboo has enormous potential for enhancing the quality of life, for both urban and rural communities.’
NITI Aayog Senior Adviser Dr Neelam Patel concluded the session by highlighting the challenges in the production, productivity and development of the overall bamboo value-chain. She mentioned the need for setting up BIS standards of bamboo and FSSAI certification of bamboo products. She requested industries to develop a framework for bamboo cultivation. She also emphasized on the need to link Kisan Rail to bamboo, GI tagging of bamboo products and the development of a nationwide knowledge information system on bamboo.