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India at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress

INBAR News
16Mar

With 100 days to go until BARC 2018, INBAR is delighted to announce a large delegation from one of its oldest Members

India is awash with ‘green gold’. According to one estimate, bamboo covers 10 million hectares of the country, and its total growing stock is estimated at around 80 million tonnes per year. Little wonder that bamboo is much used in India, for everything from construction, agriculture tools, furniture and food to musical instruments and handicrafts. India is also a key exporter of bamboo products.

As an active Member of INBAR since 1998, and the seat of INBAR’s South Asia Regional Office, India has also hosted a number of important projects, including a very successful scheme to create value-added employment for women in Tripura, and an award-winning land restoration initiative led by the Utthan Centre.

The Indian government has supported bamboo for a while – namely through its National Bamboo Mission, which aims to increase the availability of high-quality bamboo in India and promote the growth of the bamboo sector. However, it is only in recent months that the government has turned its attention to bamboo.

A few months ago, the government changed the designation of bamboo to a ‘grass’, rather than a ‘tree’: a move which will help to facilitate increased domestic trade. India is also increasingly looking to benefit from the attention of the private sector, as well: furniture retailer IKEA is looking to source more bamboo from India for its global operations. And more and more INBAR research is revealing the opportunities for bamboo across the country, from Mizoram to its North-East Region.

Overall, India’s focus on bamboo brings it much closer to INBAR’s Vision, laid out in the 2014 report ‘Make in India’: that “systematic, integrated and actionable approaches” will help develop the bamboo sector and will “contribute to the emergence of new businesses, job creation, poverty alleviation, and the empowerment of women and minorities.”

On 25-27 June, the government of India will be bringing a delegation of 30 representatives to take part in the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress 2018 (BARC 2018) led by the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, H.E. Harsh Vardhan,. The delegation includes people from across different government agencies, including the National Bamboo Mission as well as the private sector and civil society.  As most of the bamboo in India is found in the Northeast of India, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Satay Narayan Pradhan, will coordinate inputs from this part of the country.

BARC 2018 will be the ideal occasion for India to discuss its plans for the bamboo sector, and members of the delegation will be taking part in a series of technical sessions during the Congress.  According to Dr. Friederich, Director General of INBAR, “BARC 2018 is an opportunity to highlight the important role that India could and should play in the world of bamboo and rattan. This is an exciting time for bamboo in India, and we are looking forward to hearing more about the plans for increased development during our Congress.”

To find out more about India’s participation, and to register for BARC, click here.