The first North East Region World Bamboo Day 2017 was celebrated at Nagaland Bamboo Resource Centre, Dimapur, on the 18th and 19th of September with the theme ‘A Natural Celebration’ by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India under the aegis of Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA) where all the North East States participated.
Bamboo, which is an integral part of the northeast culture, is not just a part of the rituals but also a source of income to many. Being one of North East India’s most valuable resources and given the vast diversity in its applicability and the enormous scope for improvement of rural livelihoods, Bamboo is among the most important resources to be leveraged towards the alleviation of rural poverty, empowerment of women and environmental rejuvenation. Bamboo potential is immense and the best way to tap into the mega opportunity is to build the awareness about the social, environmental and economic advantages of Bamboo.
The World Bamboo Day was commemorated to create awareness on the significance of bamboo as an important natural resource for the socio-economic development of the region by placing special emphasis on acknowledging bamboo farmers, artisans, craftsmen and bamboo self help groups in the State.
While addressing the gathering as Chief Guest on World Bamboo Day at Nagaland Bamboo Research Centre, Dimapur, Nagaland Chief Minister, T.R Zeliang said, “With availability of raw materials just by our backyard, if scientifically exploited with required back-up support, I am confident that it will not only provide gainful employment to many but will also go a long way in giving us the much needed boost to the economy of the region. “ He further appealed all the stakeholders to come forward in harnessing the ‘green gold’ which abounds in our region and be proud players in joining the onward march of our nation towards the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skilling India’ clarion call of our PM. Zeliang expressed gratitude to the DoNER Ministry for recognizing the activities of NBDA and up-gradation of Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency to that of a Regional Bamboo Research Centre (RBRC) and also charting out the roadmap for the formation of the North East Bamboo Development Council (NEBDC) and added that Nagaland will continue to look forward to the DoNER Ministry and NEC to provide technical, financial and proactive (interventional) support.
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” Moreover he asserted that, “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?”
Referring to the issue of the bamboo plantation that came about during a meeting in Delhi, Naveen Verma spoke about the National Agro Policy Mission under which states could get money for plantation of various species including bamboo. However, he said that they were not able to mainstream bamboo for which he requested the state government’s intervention which was, to frame a schedule of rates for bamboo building both for urban and rural areas. 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.
There was participation by relevant stakeholders from across the country including policy makers and domain experts, in addition to entrepreneurs and bamboo artisans. The celebration included a technical summit on bamboo with the Ministry of DoNER, exhibition and sale of bamboo crafts from all the North Eastern state, visits to various units in Nagaland Bamboo Resource Centre and Bamboo plantation ceremony. Awards were also given away to best performing village bamboo development committee, most promising craftsman, entrepreneur, self help groups and most supportive institute. As part of the World Bamboo Day celebration at Bamboo Resource Centre, Dimapur, Technical Sessions on the topic ‘Road map for North East Bamboo Development Council (NEBDC) and ‘Bamboo Value Chain Development in NER’ was conducted at the conference hall of Nagaland Bamboo Resource Centre on 18th September, 2017. The entire day was utilized to discuss and deliberate key issues for the development of Bamboo in the North Eastern Region of India.
The World Bamboo Day 2017 will be remembered for successfully charting the road map by the Ministry of DoNER for the formation of the North East Bamboo Development Council (NEBDC).