NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission has thrown up an idea
to form a national bamboo development board and expand the present Rs
26,00 cr bamboo mission into a full-fledged directorate.
pre-feasibility report has already been scrutinised by the agriculture
ministry, and the final report is expected to be placed before the Cabinet
by February next year.
The scheme, which includes an addition of
two million hectares of land for bamboo plantation, may generate 8.6
million jobs. Its believed that the UPA government, which has been
looking for creating job avenues to fulfil its promises in the CMP, is
likely to accept the proposal.With an addition of two million hectares of
land, the total land under bamboo plantation will increase to 8.9 million
hectares. People will be needed not only at the stage of cultivation, but
lakhs of jobs will be created at the primary processing centres, which we
are planning in our new scheme, said a Planning Commission official.
Also, an expansion of bamboo plantation is a key to meet the Plan
target of covering 33% of areas under forests. Next only to China, India
has the richest bamboo genetic resources with 136 species. But with a
market of Rs 2000 cr, it falls nowhere in the $10 bn global bamboo bazaar.
If we wish to exploit the bamboo market totally, the entire
mission is to be handled by a proper directorate. We must have a proper
structure and separate administrators to look into areas like finance,
administration, marketing etc. We cant forget that our domestic market
itself is huge and theres no problem of investment. In fact, the
government may not pump in all the expenditure. The idea is to make the
business of bamboo a profitable venture, the official added.