Bamboo export and market development workshop held in Dimapur
Dimapur, Feb. 4 (EMN): An outreach programme on bamboo export and market development at Nagaland Bamboo Resource Centre, 6th Mile, Dimapur on February 4. It was organised by SHEFEXIL, Kolkata in association with Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA).
Chairman of NBDA Visasolie Lhoungu stated in his keynote address that development of bamboo is envisaged from two perspectives in Nagaland, which are resource development and enterprise development. He added that the agency focuses on existing resources through scientifically-managed plantation and regeneration to develop bamboo resources.
He said that technology sourcing, dissemination of information and marketing are some areas of focus for enterprise development. He also informed that Nagaland Bamboo Resource Centre (NBRC) has been set up in Dimapur with the assistance of Government of India to serve as a centre of excellence for both resource and enterprise development.
Lhoungu went on to say that the centre serves as an incubation hub for artisans and entrepreneurs and it is not only for Nagaland state but also for the entire Northeast region.
He asserted that bamboo has a very strong and intricate relationship with the people of Nagaland and the rural communities of the Northeast as a whole.
He told the gathering that a strong community approach and skilling of unemployed youths through capacity building programmes is the need of the hour to drive the bamboo industry. He added that it is a matter of pride that the NBDA is taking initiative to tie up with Taiwan for technology sourcing and co-operation in the bamboo sector.
In her welcome address, SMD of NBDA Imtirenla Jamir stated that bamboo today contributes to the subsistence need of over a billion people and has played a significant role in human society since time immemorial. She added that resource mobilisation, management, international education and cooperation must be emphasised in developing a future for bamboo as the timber of 21th century.
Jamir informed that the growing stock of bamboo is estimated at around 8.96 million hectares in the country, out of which about 5 percent of the growing stock, consisting of 46 species, is assessed to be available in Nagaland. She added that India is one of the largest importers of bamboo in the form of agarbatti sticks.
Resource person of the programme Sudhakar Kasture, director of EXIM institute, gave a presentation on ways to increase exports from India, informing that bamboo import for the year 2019-2020 was 30.68 percent while export was 0.24 percent. He said that in order to increase export, India that has second largest bamboo reserves in the world, should relax stringent forest regulation for export.
Kasture spoke about requirement of documentation and registration for starting export. He also stressed on the need to have awareness about free trade agreements (FTAs) and understanding of HS codes which is economic language of the world.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) North-East Economic Corridor study team member, Kaustavmani Deka, while highlighting the issues in bamboo sector, informed that despite 50 percent of global area under bamboo cultivation, India has only 5 percent market share. He added that the reason for India’s meagre global market share could be attributed to low yield and sub-optimal usage of its bamboo resources.
According to their study, segregation of bamboo parts in the primary processing near production centres could increase supply chain efficiencies and additional raw material through increase in production and waste saving to be used for import substitution market.
Deka informed that the bamboo-based ethanol and CBG plant could address energy concerns rendering zero wastage and that location analysis suggested Panikhaiti in Dimapur and Kumarghat as proposed bio refinery sites in Northeast region.
Deka went on to say that low market value, low yield, import of bamboo, consumption and lack of marketing with organised supply chain are some of the challenges in bamboo sector.
Several experts, including additional DGFT of Guwahati S Sashikumar; ED, SHEFEXIL, Kolkota, Dr. Debjani Roy; assistant manager, ECGC Ltd., Harjit Bharali; and Kamesh Salam from NBDA of Dimapur, spoke at the workshop.