The Second National Bamboo Mission was taken up in 2018
- India is the second largest bamboo-growing nation after China. Although the area under bamboo cultivation in India is larger than China, the latter dominates the global market supplying 83% of bamboo products. India’s share stands at a measly $4.5 billion despite it being the largest repository of the bamboo resources with almost 14 million hectare under bamboo cultivation.
- China has better productivity with only six million hectares under bamboo cultivation. In view of the China’s leap in bamboo growing, the headquarters of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan was shifted to Beijing from Delhi a few years ago. Though 44 countries report growing bamboo, three - China, India and Myanmar - account for 80% of bamboo resources.
- It is known to produce 35% more oxygen than trees. It yields enormous amount of biomass ideal for pulp industry. Research in Japan has shown that bamboo can absorb as much as 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Though its role in purifying the air is well known, the plantation owners would like more economic uses of the material for expanding the area under its cultivation.
- The National Bamboo Mission was initiated in 2006 in view of the bamboo’s close ties with the northeastern states. It had fixed a target of capturing 27% of the $950 billion international market. Though it succeeded in expanding the cultivation and propagation of bamboo, it failed to address the link between the farmers and the industry.
- It failed to meet the target for 2015 and India’s share has remained at $4.5 dollars. The Second National Bamboo Mission, a sub-scheme under the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture, was taken up in 2018 with an initial allocation of Rs. 1,290 crore and is designed to focus on enhancing productivity—currently 3 to 6 tonne per hectare for India versus 30 to 40 tonne for China—and augmenting technology transfer to MSME industries.
- The northeastern states account for 65% of the bamboo grown in India. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Karnataka account for 11, 8, 7 and 5.5%, respectively. Be it a structural element for dwellings or articles of domestic use or even food, bamboo is intensely enmeshed with culture and livelihood of the seven northeastern states.