On the 18th of September every year since 2009, World Bamboo Day is celebrated globally to build the awareness of bamboo. A special World Bamboo Day 2017 event was organised by Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA). Dimpaur on September 18, 2017 under the aegis of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India. The event was held at Nagaland Bamboo Research Centre (NBRC), Dimapur.
Speaking on the occasion Guest of Honour Naveen Verma, Secretary, Ministry of DoNER said, “Bamboo is one of North East India’s most valuable resources and has a vast diversity in its applicability. It plays an important role and has enormous scope for improvement of rural livelihoods. We should all work towards ensuring that Bamboo be leveraged towards the alleviation of rural poverty, empowerment of women and environmental rejuvenation. We need to mainstream Bamboo in our daily lives”.
The World Bamboo Day Summit saw the Ministry of DoNER and NEC team involved with the NBDA team in a very coordinated manner to ensure that the entire day was utilized to discuss and deliberate key issues and ideate future roadmap for the development of Bamboo in the North Eastern Region of India. It will indeed go down as a significant initiative on a very significant day for the future of Bamboo. The inaugural event was followed two back to back technical sessions featuring presentations by domain experts & industry leaders apart from an extensive discussion forum with State Bamboo Mission Directors.
During the inaugural event, Verma spoke at length about the immense economic potential of Bamboo from bamboo as a building material, bamboo flooring, bamboo handicrafts, and bamboo affordable homes to bamboo shoots. He also touched upon how digital platforms can enable leapfrog the growth and development of the bamboo sector. “We need to build the bamboo value chain and an enabling organisation involving all relevant stakeholders to drive the future of bamboo Development in the North Eastern Region”, added Verma.
The World Bamboo Day event featured serious deliberations around the launch of ‘North East Bamboo Development Council (NEBDC)’, an initiative by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) to enable the growth and development of Bamboo in North Eastern region of India.
India has the second largest reserve of bamboo in the world. This super material has tremendous potential to transform the country’s rural economy and contribute to sustainable development efforts, especially North Eastern Region, which has more than 60% of the country’s bamboo resources. The North East Bamboo Development Council (NEBDC) is positioned as an important step in this direction.
This is arguably for the first time that the Government has decided to set up a separate bamboo development council, devoted to a particular region of the country. Setting up of an exclusive North-Eastern Bamboo Development Council is also a reflection of the high priority that the Union government accords to the development of the Bamboo Sector in the country
Recently, as part of its ‘NORTH EAST CALLING’ initiative held at India Gate, Delhi (September 9-10, 2017), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India had organised a special Bamboo Session towards harnessing the huge potential of the bamboo industry in the North Eastern Region of India.
The North-Eastern Bamboo Development Council is yet another addition to several new initiatives undertaken with regard to North East by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). During the ‘North East Calling’ initiative, the Union minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh announced the formation of exclusive North-Eastern Tourism Development Council (NETDC) on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The development and growth of North East has been on the priority of the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The focus has not only been in bringing North East closer to the rest of country, but also to bring rest of India closer to the North East.
— TR Zeliang (@TRZeliang) September 18, 2017
Citing the issue of bamboo plantation, Verma also spoke about the national agro policy mission under which states could get money for plantation of various species including bamboo. He was happy to learn that Nagaland has a substantial annual reserve of bamboo, which meant that there was supply and that the only problem was to convert it into wealth. “If we look at the entire value chain, one of the takeaways from this conference is to come up with a scheme. Why not come up with a mission value chain for bamboo products for North East?” he asserted.
He added, “Let me announce that NEC and DoNER is more integrated now and together we are committed to drive the growth and development of Bamboo in North Eastern Region”.