J&K Government signs MoU with NECBDC, NEC for Bamboo Entrepreneurship and Bamboo Infrastructure Development in J&K

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JAMMU: In order to harness the unexplored potential of bamboo sector in J&K, the Ministry of DoNER, GoI through North East Cane & Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) under North Eastern Council (NEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government of Jammu and Kashmir for Bamboo Entrepreneurship and Bamboo Infrastructure Development in J&K.

The MoU was signed in presence of Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of J&K and Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister here at Convention Centre.

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Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha congratulated the people of J&K and all those associated with Bamboo Sector and said that the signing of MoU will give impetus to bamboo production, its processing and associated business, and to develop bamboo industry into a strong industry of Jammu and Kashmir.

For planned cultivation of commercial species of Bamboo, the Lt Governor said that the J&K Administration will explore the possibility of setting up a State Bamboo Mission (SBM) in Jammu and Kashmir that will benefit large number of farmers in the UT.

The Lt Governor said that with the signing of MoU for bamboo development in Jammu and Kashmir, the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ‘Har Medh Par Ped’ has been made a reality in Jammu and Kashmir, said the Lt Governor.

Laying special emphasis on tapping the potential of the Bamboo sector in J&K, the Lt Governor observed that the MoU has been carefully drafted for the overall development and harnessing of unexplored, untapped potential of the Sector of Jammu Kashmir.

Through our partnership with North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council, we will take up implementation & Development of bamboo technology, bamboo based research and related developmental activities in the Union Territory and replicate good practices in J&K by knowledge sharing & technical partnership, the Lt Governor said.

The MoU will create financial and market linkages for the Bamboo produce and facilitate promoting Bamboo startup entrepreneurship, besides developing the training facilities for farmers, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, and villagers associated with bamboo sector. It will also facilitate market awareness to J&K Entrepreneurs and facilitating the joint exhibitions, export promotions etc, observed the Lt Governor.

Underscoring the significance of the initiative, the Lt Governor observed that our partner with expertise in the Bamboo Sector will pave the way for the formation and development of bamboo clusters, product clusters in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and in other potential districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

In order to increase the coverage of appropriate, popular and commercial bamboo species in Jammu and Kashmir, NECBDC would provide technical guidance in forming bamboo product clusters using modern design and technology and a suitable mechanism will be worked out jointly by both the parties, said the Lt Governor.

Government is creating a robust Business Ecosystem in the Bamboo Sector in J&K. With these efforts, soon, bamboo products will be in the list of niche products of J&K and encourage employment for thousands, said the Lt Governor.

“This marks the beginning of a new chapter. The MoU will create a new wave for all-round development of unexplored, untapped Bamboo Sector. Now, local artisans, entrepreneurs can touch new heights of progress and make domestic products available to the global market. Today, we have taken a giant leap in this direction to give a push to the products made from Bamboo called Green Gold, and, we have moved towards changing the lives of artisans and farmers with new technology’, remarked the Lt Governor.

At present, around 1000 families are associated with bamboo handicrafts in Jammu and Kashmir, and we want to take this number to 10 thousand. The efforts for this are proceeding at a rapid pace, the Lt Governor observed.

At national level, more than 25,000 bamboo based industries are providing employment opportunities to about 2 crore people, while about 21 to 22 lakh people are engaged in bamboo based art. The Bamboo industry is promoting the items related to it ,such as raw material, building materials, handicrafts, pulp, paper and production of bamboo fibers, Fiber Board of bamboo fibers, bamboo flooring etc. directly and through value addition, he added.

On potential of J&K in Bamboo production, the Lt Governor said that there are large parts in Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi which are not suitable for farming, but have ample scope of Bamboo production. The products like Decorative Pieces, Agarbatti, Almirah, Doors, Windows and other decorative things can be made. This will boost business at the local level and provide new employment opportunities to the youth, he added.

Reiterating Government’s commitment for promotion of business sector in J&K, the Lt Governor said that just a few days back, the new Industrial Development Scheme-2021 worth Rs 28,400 crore has been implemented for Jammu and Kashmir and tremendous incentives have been given by the government to bring revolution in the business ecosystem here which for 70 years was denied to our nation’s crown, Jammu and Kashmir. Industries and entrepreneurs were prevented from coming to Jammu and Kashmir for 70 years. Under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, now there is dawn of a new beginning in J&K, he added.

The Lt Governor mentioned about Bamboo Training Research Centre in Maharashtra which revolutionized the villages around there and emphasized that in the coming time, a similar type of Business Ecosystem should be developed in potential districts of Jammu Division.

India is second in world in production of bamboo after China. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Department, the annual production of bamboo is more than 32 cr tonnes, which contains about 136 species. But it is unfortunate that despite being the second largest producer in the world, our export of bamboo material in 2016-17 was only Rs 32 lakh, whereas in the same year, we imported bamboo items worth Rs 213 crore, he added.

The Lt Governor observed that Bamboo farming is usually ready in three to four years. Therefore, the emphasis is that the availability of ready-made bamboo trees under the Forestry Department should be made available through auction for Manufacturing Unit Holders and Craftsmen. We have also decided that 75% of the income generated from this will be given to the Plantation Committee in the Panchayats so that they can invest that money in the development work of the village, he maintained.

“I am hopeful that we would turn this into an opportunity. If we can increase our production and create an ecosystem of the value chain, protection can be provided to the artisans as well as the farmers related to bamboo production”, said the Lt Governor.

Union MoS, Dr Jitendra Singh, while addressing the gathering, observed that with the signing of MoU, the post-COVID economy has taken off from the UT and the untapped huge bamboo reserves of the region would be an important part in the country’s future economy and J&K as well.

Dr Singh said that the bamboo cultivation would be cost effective if done in an institutionalized manner and would eventually revolutionize the economy of the region. He said that Common Facilitation Centers would be established across Jammu region. “The onset of the Bamboo industry would boost the employment and revenue generation in the region,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmed Khan said that with this MoU, the economy of Jammu region would be transformed in a big way and the model used in North Eastern region could be replicated here also to bring socio-economy change.

In his address, Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam said that a new change has been set in with this step and people would be benefited in a long way.

Secretary, DoNER, Dr. Inder Jit Singh and Secretary, North Eastern Council, K Moses Chalai also spoke on the occasion and underscored the benefits of bamboo cultivation and said that they would eagerly share their expertise with Jammu and Kashmir.

Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner/Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, in his welcome address, highlighted the huge potential of bamboo cultivation in Jammu.

NECBDC’s Curtain raiser and Documentary of Handicrafts and Handloom, Jammu were showcased to mark the occasion. Vote of Thanks was presented by Dr Vikas Gupta, Director, Handicrafts and Handloom, Jammu.

Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament; Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Administrative Secretaries; Purnima Sharma, Deputy Mayor, JMC and senior officers of Civil Administration were present on the occasion.