Imphal, June 14
Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar today opined that bamboo plantation can be an alternative to Jhum cultivation in the State and it can result in socio-economic upliftment of the bamboo growers/farmers and artisans.
He was addressing the gathering as the chief guest at the State level workshop on the theme ‘Bamboo Resource and Product Development’ held at the City Convention Centre, Imphal organised by National Bamboo Mission, Manipur under the aegis of Forest Department.
Stating that bamboo products like bamboo shoot is one the most popular delicacies in the State. Bamboo is also used in making other infrastructures and high quality bamboo plantation will improve the financial condition of the farmers and artisans.
He further lauded the Forest officials for presenting bamboo saplings instead of bouquet in the function and opined that if different types of saplings are presented to the dignitaries at functions then definitely people will inculcate the habit of planting which will help in environment conservation.
Suhel Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary observed that although bamboo resource is abundantly available in the State, the quality of bamboo is not commercially viable. Therefore to gain the benefits, he said we need to grow high quality varieties of bamboo. He informed that the National Bamboo Mission, Manipur is working to get quality planting material and special units to process it and ultimately showcase the final products in the country and in foreign countries like Myanmar.
He said to make the products commercially viable we can add value addition to the products which is of high quality, focusing on durability, longevity and maintaining quality standards. If the production of good quality bamboos are produced here and sold then the State and bamboo growers/artisans will benefit, he added.
Dr. DD Haokip, Additional PCCF (NBM & MP), State Mission Director, National Bamboo Mission said that Manipur is one of the most important bamboo growing states in India with bearing area of 10,687 sq km. The State has immense potential for bamboo resource and product development. For activities for bamboo product development activities like treatment, value addition and waste management of bamboo are important, he said.
He said that National Bamboo Mission, Manipur has started establishment of one high tech nursery in Imphal, 10 big nurseries and 5 small nurseries in all the districts of the State to produce quality product material. For product development National Bamboo Mission, Manipur and Forest Department have started work for establishment of primary processing unit in Sawombung (Imphal East), Noney, Churachandpur and Tengnoupal districts which are the maximum bamboo growing districts of the State to facilitate supply of raw materials and benefit bamboo growers and artisans.
Stating that National Bamboo Mission, Manipur has proposed 4 treatment plants and 4 bamboo waste units this year to facilitate these processing units, he said that the bamboo growing districts can benefit from the processing units and common facility centers where growers can sell raw materials and artisans can profit from skill development and training programmes.
The workshop was also attended by officials and staffs of Forest Department including Kereilhouvi Angami, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force (PCCF & HoFF), experts, artisans from different districts among others
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.