Patna: Bihar is gearing up to promote bamboo in a big way at a time when the Centre has given clearance to the national bamboo mission to promote bamboo plantation.
The state environment and forest department is going to organise a bamboo conclave on June 9 for this. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the state forest department, is likely to inaugurate the conclave to be attended by around 50 experts from the field of bamboo.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently approved the bamboo mission under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture. The mission entails holistic development of this sector and establishing of a linkage between bamboo growers and industries so that farmers’ income gets a boost. A sum of Rs 1,290 crore would be spent under this mission; the Centre will provide Rs 950 crore. The fund is to be spent during 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Sharing details of the conclave, principal chief conservator of forests D.K. Shukla said all kinds of experts, right from those in bamboo production to its marketing and on how to make the plantation beneficial for farmers, would take part in the event.
The outcome of the conclave will be used to prepare a strategy for the state so that bamboo plantation can be promoted in a big way and farmers can get the benefits of the initiative. Shukla said that Bihar had a strong potential for popularising bamboo plantation and the state boasted of a government facility that can provide one lakh bamboo seeds every year.
Plans are afoot to enhance seed production capacity and take it to 6 lakh so that more and more farmers can be provided seeds and encouraged to go for bamboo plantation.
Shukla said bamboo plantation would help enhance farmers’ income as they can get Rs 25 for one piece of bamboo. Generally it takes two to three years for a bamboo plant to mature.
The forest department is already implementing its social forestry scheme, which entails plantation of trees on part of the farmland so that farmers can get additional income. The state has been laying special emphasis on this scheme for the past four years. Around 71.06 lakh trees were planted in Bihar under this scheme in 2013-14. The number went up to 1.03 crore in 2014-15. In the two subsequent years – 2015-16 and 2016-17 – 95.17 lakh and 94.63 lakh trees were planted respectively under the agro-forestry project. Even in 2017-18 around 1 crore trees were planted under the scheme and the target for 2018-19 is 1.5 crore trees.
Courtesy: The Telegraph