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Nagaland set for green cover drive
Correspondent, KOHIMA, DEC 18 (NPN):
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Published on 19 Dec. 2008 12:17 AM IST
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State Govt likely to declare 2010 as ‘Year of Plantation’ Nagaland state is contemplating to declare the Year 2010 as “Year of Plantation” and the state Forest Department is contemplating carry out plantation in 50,000 hectares of land with major emphasis on bamboo plantation. This was stated in a specific agenda submitted to the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) by minister for Forest & Environment, Wildlife and Excise, MC Konyak during the recently held 3-day national conference on “Bamboo Cultivation and Value Addition” at Pragna Bhawan, Agartala. The proposed plantation is estimated to cost about Rs.150 crore, the minister stated in his agenda and sought the support and funding from the National Bamboo Mission. Justifying his point, the minister pointed out that since Tuli Paper Mill was going to be commissioned and resume production from 2009 onwards, the mill would require about 3.5 lakh metric tones of dry weight bamboo per annum, besides other upcoming bamboo industries in the area, which would required massive investment for plantation. The minister also conveyed the willingness of the State to tie up with China for importing technologies on bamboo development and better heavy machineries. Seeking support and assistance from the NBM, Konyak urged the mission to allot fund in a generous manner. He also requested the NBM to ensure that bamboo resources development was entrusted to a “competent” department (Forest) for better results and to discourage the system of channeling funds through multi-department, for effective control of fund flow, plantation success and outcome monitoring. Earlier, the minister in his address at the conference said Nagaland constituted 5% of the total bamboo growing areas of the country and that there was an urgent need for bamboo resources survey and mapping in the region, complete data on bamboo resources, species and utility. He also said the State required “massive inflow of funds” from the Centre and international financial institution for establishing industries in bamboo sector and suggested that 20% of the DoNER fund should be infused to this sector. Pointing out the problem of the hilly terrains, which hampered extraction of bamboo, Konyak suggested that bamboo extraction roads should be one of the components for successful plantation in bamboo projects. Further, the minister mooted the idea of relaxation of entry fee on inter-state bamboo transit, encourage cluster bamboo cottage industry centres for cooperative marketing and transportation, sending entrepreneur to China for training in skill up gradation, providing adequate grant and soft loan to entrepreneurs for establishing large industries under bamboo sector and replacing gregarious flowering species of bamboo with superior species. The Forest minister who returned after attending the conference revealed this to the Nagaland Post during an exclusive interview at his official residence here Thursday. He also revealed that the State Forest department had already planted bamboo in 640 hectares in Tuli area and was contemplating to carry out plantation in 94,000 hectares of government purchased land. This year, the department is targeting to carry out plantation in 2000 hectares of land in Mon and Mokokchung districts, which would include both private and government land. He also disclosed that during 2009, the department would focus on strengthening and setting up of nurseries to declare 2010 as year of plantation. In this regard, the department is contemplating to bring in bamboo experts from outside the State and abroad for comprehensive study and to conduct seminars and workshops, the minister added.

 
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