Plan to raise bamboo on 1,76,000 hectares in five years
THANJAVUR: National Bamboo Mission envisages raising of bamboo on 1,76,000 hectares of new area in the country in five years, said M.S.Shanmugham, Collector, at Papanasam on Saturday.
Inaugurating the district level conference on bamboo cultivation for farmers under the National Bamboo Mission, the Collector said that bamboo has very big economic value. In the whole world, Rs.50,000 crores worth of bamboo products are produced and sold. This may increase to Rs.1 lakh crores in the course of time.
India produced Rs.2,043 crores worth of bamboo products and this was expected to grow to Rs.24,000 crores with value addition by 2015.
Returns on investment are nearly 30 per cent with respect to bamboo and nearly 1500 kinds of products can be produced. Thus it can offer wide employment to people particularly women.
From environment point of view also, bamboo cultivation is important. At a time when global warming threatens the world, increase in bamboo cultivation can reduce it and increase oxygen content in the world. Bamboo is a fast growing grass variety and it grows three meters in one day. No other tree can match bamboo in terms of growing. The present need is fast growing trees.
In Thanjavur district, only 115 hectares of land has been brought under new bamboo cultivation in a year. This year the plan is to raise bamboo on 75 hectares. This is very less and bamboo cultivation should be increased in the district, the Collector said.
Bamboo can change the life of paddy growing Cauvery delta farmers. It can improve their economy when gone for value addition. The Collector handed over bamboo seedlings to farmers at the meeting.
S.Prathaban, Assistant director of Horticulture from Directorate of Horticulture, Chennai, said that the directorate will be interested to help bamboo farmers who want to put up units for producing value added products from bamboo.
Farmers can send the proposal for such units. Seventeen to eighteen varieties of bamboo can be cultivated in Tamil Nadu.
Bamboo farmers T.Manimozhiyan and K.Balasubramanian shared their experiences in bamboo growing at the conference. J.Shekar, Joint Director of Agriculture, P.Logananathan, Deputy director of Horticulture, K.K.Suresh, Professor and Head, Department of Silviculture, Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam and K.R.Panneerselvam, Project Officer, National Bamboo Mission also spoke.