Bamboo in India: Bamboo boost for Mizoram

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Bamboo has become big business for the border state of Mizoram, which has managed to corner 10 per cent of the estimated Rs 5,000 crore business generated out of bamboo grown in the Northeast.

The Northeast produces 65 per cent of bamboo in the country and 20 per cent of global production.

The Technology Information Forecasting Assessment Council is planning to produce electricity from bamboo.

This tribal-dominated state makes matting, bamboo boards, chipping and canned bamboo shoots. It is also used for making paper, incense sticks and construction of buildings. Bamboo is processed and made into boards which are more tensile than steel. Sometimes it is made into mixed board with a timber layer on the outside. Raw materials to Cachar Paper Mill are supplied from the bamboo plantations here. Recently, a joint venture bamboo-processing unit with a private public partnership and seven chipping clusters was set up.

The Mizoram government is planning to supply chipped bamboo to paper mills. However, the bamboo crop flowers every 50 years and it takes a couple of years for the next crop to emerge. G. Malsawmdawnglina, joint director of industries in the government of Mizoram, said, “Till the time our next crop is ready, our factories remain idle.” The Mizoram government has announced a policy — Bamboo Flowering and Famine Combat Scheme — to combat the adverse situation.

The Centre has also promised schemes to employ the youth to make bamboo link roads and other projects.

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