Context: To promote the growth of the bamboo sector through as an area based regionally differentiated strategy, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is implementing a 100?ntrally Sponsored Scheme called Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) in which National Bamboo Mission (NBM) is being implemented as a sub scheme.
- The Mission focuses on development of bamboo in limited States where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in the North Eastern region and States including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- The Mission aims to bring more than 1 lakh ha area under bamboo plantation.
- The Mission is being implemented in a hub (industry) and spoke model, with the main goal of connecting farmers to markets so as to enable farmer producers to get a ready market for the bamboo grown and to increase supply of appropriate raw material to domestic industry.
Restructured National Bamboo Mission
- The restructured National Bamboo Mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) was launched in 2018-19 for holistic development of the complete value chain of the sector.
- The restructured NBM strives -
- (i) To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.
- (ii) To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units.
- (iii) To promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
Indian Forest Act, 2017
- The Mission was launched as a natural corollary of the historic amendment of the Indian Forest Act in 2017, removing bamboo from the definition of trees, hence bamboo grown outside forests no longer need felling and transit permissions.
- After 90 years, the bamboo has legally ceased to be a tree after the government amended the Indian Forest Act and removing the bamboo — taxonomically a grass — from a list of plants that also included palms, skumps, brush-wood and canes.
- Its aim was to promote cultivation of bamboo in non-forest areas to achieve the “twin objectives” of increasing the income of farmers and also increasing the green cover of the country.
- Bamboo grown in the forest areas would continue to be governed by the provisions of the Indian Forest Act.
- As a tree it couldn’t be easily ferried across State borders. It also required permits from village councils and couldn’t be cultivated in non-forest areas. Now it is exempted from requiring permits for felling or transportation.
Logo for National Bamboo Mission
- The logo portrays a bamboo culm in the center of a circle composed of half an industrial wheel and half farmers, depicting the objectives of NBM appropriately.
- The green and yellow colours of the logo symbolise bamboo often termed as green gold.
Bamboo cultivation in India
- India is the second largest bamboo-growing nation after China.
- Although the area under bamboo cultivation in India (almost 14 million hectare under bamboo cultivation) is larger than China, the latter dominates the global market supplying 83% of bamboo products.
- 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.
- Though bamboo comes from the grass family, it is considered a woody grass and qualifies as a structural material far superior in strength than timber yielded by several species of trees.
- In fact, it excels over steel when it comes to volume versus strength ratio.
- The elastic nature of the bamboo plant allows it to withstand stormy winds.
- Besides, bamboo cultivation yields enormous environmental dividends.
- It is known to produce 35% more oxygen than trees.
- It yields enormous amount of biomass ideal for pulp industry.
- The north-eastern 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.