The ‘Green gold’ progression

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 7 (MExN): Christened the ‘Green gold’, the economic potential of the bamboo as an economic resource is but tremendous. In this context, the north east alongwith Sikkim, which is said to posses over two-third of the total bamboo resource in India, can reap gold out of the grass known for its versatility and sturdiness. Available aplenty in Nagaland as well, Nagas can rest assure that efforts to turn the bamboo into an income generating asset, and on a wider scale, has already taken off with the state government already having in place a working bamboo policy.   

The bamboo policy adopted in 2003 led to the birth of the Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA) under which functions the Nagaland Bamboo Resource Centre (NBRC), a state-of-the-art value-addition unit for anything bamboo. 

Keeping in mind the basic aims and objectives of the policy, the NBDA conducts training as well as awareness programmes at regular intervals while assisting individuals who show potential in the use of bamboo. It only waits to be seen how resourcefully the beneficiaries make use of the training and other assistance provided. 

On Tuesday, the NBDA conducted one such programme at the NBRC wherein machineries and tools to be set up at identified ‘bamboo agarbatti stick production clusters and handicrafts units’ were given away to 18 beneficiaries. The indentified ‘agarbatti stick production clusters’ were from Dimapur, Peren and Mokokchung. 

It also coincided with a training programme on bamboo furniture making which was flagged off by HK Khulu, IAS, Principal Secretary (Agri), APC and Mission Director of the NBDA. Addressing the inaugural, Khulu said that bamboo has been an integral part of Naga society since time immemorial. However the extent of its use has been minimal and mostly confined to domestic use. With the world at large realizing its potential, he said that now is the time to take it to the next level. Citing there is no substitute to hard work, he also expected from the assistance provided to the beneficiaries, results which would add to the Gross Domestic Product of the state. He also emphasized on ‘quality, price and a sustainable level of production. These three – volume of production, quality control and competitive price must go hand in hand if one has to compete in the market. “We’ve to ensure that the finished product is competitive in quality as well as in price,” he said. 

Norman Putsure, IAS, team leader, NBM-IT, NBDA, in his keynote address dwelled on the aims, mandate and achievements of the state bamboo mission. Adding value to the bamboo by expanding its use through innovation is one of the guiding principles of the mission, he said.