Assam produces the maximum amount of bamboo in India as most of its forests are throbbing with bamboo plantation of various species. The North-Eastern region of India has a good amount of bamboo resources in its kitty. This fastest growing plant has the capacity to substitute wood in the near future. India stands at the second spot in the production of bamboo resources in the world, next to China.
Species of Bamboo Grown in Assam
About 51 species of the bamboo plants are grown in Assam. The species are being used for multiple purposes like in the construction of buildings, and in making of furniture and various devices. The most-used species of bamboo of monetary value are the Muli (Melocanna bambusoides), Khang (Dendrocalmus longispatnus), Dalu (Teinostachyum dalloa), Kaligoda (Oxytenanthera nigrociliata), and Pecha (Dendrocalamus Hamilton-ii). The Muli and the Dalu have immense economic importance. The former is used for pulping, fencing, and constructional purposes, and the latter one in the mat and basket industry.
The Exploitation of Bamboo in Assam
Bamboo is considered as an indispensable part of the state’s culture, way of living, and livelihood of the people. The communities have a good amount of knowledge and skills relating to the procreation, altering, and usage of bamboo. There is a conventional understanding of the bamboo and a tradition of skill that can be relied upon for fresh emerging products and applications. The products such as bamboo houses, bamboo mats, bamboo baskets, bamboo hats, walking sticks, umbrella handles, fishing rods, tool handle, cordage, tent poles, hand-fans, ladders, yokes, bamboo, and leaf headgear; handicrafts like musical instruments, toys and dolls, and various household and agricultural instruments are made of bamboo.
Bamboo is majorly used in the manufacturing of paper in Assam. The Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. is engaged in paper manufacturing in the state through its operational unit in Panchgram located in the Hailakandi district and in Jagiroad. The prospects of the establishment of various pulp and paper units depending on the bamboo plantation in the state are tremendous.
Government Initiatives to Develop the Industry
The Government of Assam is striving to develop the bamboo sector in an exhaustive manner. It is following an integrative and multidimensional approach to provide monetary advantages to the people of the state.
The state government inaugurated a Bamboo Technology Park worth Rs. 62.28 crore on 23rd June 2017, at Chaygaon in Kamrup district. The main objective behind the establishment of this park was to provide infrastructure resources to the bamboo entrepreneurs. Ever since its inception, this technology park has been engaged in introducing various advanced technologies that can be employed in the bamboo sector to produce diversified bamboo products. All of this can lead to the generation of employment, skill-building, and a change in the economic and industrial scenario of Assam.