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Make in Assam: Harnessing the bamboo wealth

News
10May

Investors, Policymakers, stakeholders gear up to mine Bamboo from the state

April 28, 2017, Guwahati

India with the second largest reserves of bamboo is all set to leverage the bamboo sector. Recently, a “Green Gold Bamboo Summit” was organized under the aegis of Assam Industrial Development Corporation to discuss about strengthening the bamboo industry in the region and using the locally available resource innovatively.

T.P. Subramony (Director & Regional Coordinator for South Asia) addresses the gathering at the Green Gold Bamboo Summit in Assam

The event was organized to provide a platform to the relevant stakeholders to discuss new ideas, new opportunities and new collaborations to enable state’s bamboo industry to take a big leap. It brought together international and national participants from the industry, business leaders, policy makers and stakeholders, in addition to local entrepreneurs and artisans.

Assam Chief Minister Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal assured complete assistance to the investors interested in bamboo in the state while speaking at the inaugural session. He said, “Bamboo has a huge role in socio-cultural and economic upliftment in the region. If the bamboo industry grows here, the biggest beneficiaries will be the poor people. We have also added it in our budget to promote our rural economy”.

The event not only focused on the opportunities but also discussed in detail about ways to overcome the many limitations and challenges that exist regarding the locally available species of bamboo. Mr. Ravi Capoor, Addl Chief Secretary, Department of Industries & Commerce, Govt of Assam also highlighted the need to promote private buying of bamboo in the state.

In order to attract investors and entrepreneurs, the Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has been making concerted efforts since 2010. AIDC has set up a Bamboo Technology Park (BTP), in an area of over 60 acres land in Chaygaon, about 45 kms from Guwahati. The main objective of setting up this park is to provide infrastructure facilities to bamboo based industries. The facility has various common facility centres focusing on different value chains.

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) was represented by Mr. T P Subramony, Director & Regional Coordinator for South Asia at the summit. Mr. Subramony shared INBAR’s projects and its experiences in different geographies around the globe to inspire the participants to collaborate and work together to tap the potential of the abundantly available resource in the region.

Also present at the event, INBAR’s board member Ms. Preeti Sinha, Senior President and Global Convenor, Yes Institute discussed in detail about various financial interventions that can enable build the bamboo chain across various stages starting from bamboo plantation, bamboo processing, access to market, inculcating new technology to developing consumer campaigns to promote bamboo.

During the event, Mr. Chung Kwang Tien, representative of Taipei economics and culture centre in India revealed their close association with bamboo and talked about ways of harnessing the resource in India for industry on the island. He expressed his interest and added, “Our relation is more than 21 years old and we are committed to developing a stronger relationship with India. We have 30 companies investing in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India and we are eager to invest in bamboo sector in Assam.”

IKEA, also represented at the event by Mr. Sandeep Sanan, New Business Development Manager (South Asia), unveiled the company’s plans for the northeast and acknowledged the huge opportunity and potential that lies in the region.  He added, “Whatever we do we are keen to ensure that we make a positive and environment friendly impact on the people”.

It is expected that the summit will result in concrete proposals about setting up bamboo industries in the state.