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Ansari in Kisama for WBD, calls for harnessing bamboo for socio-economy

Md. Hamid Ansari address the gathering at the “World Bamboo Day function” held at Kohima Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. (R) Ansari unveils the monolith. (DIPR/NP)
Correspondent KISAMA, SEPT 18 (NPN):
Published on 19 Sep. 2010 12:54 AM IST
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Vice president of India Md. Hamid Ansari expressed confidence that the economic and technological capabilities of the nation could bring about Bamboo revolution in the country.
Addressing the first World Bamboo Day celebration at the Naga Heritage village, Kisama as chief guest Saturday, Ansari stressed on the need for involving various technical, financial and entrepreneurial interventions in the fields of forestry, land use, propagation technology for its cultivation and sustainable use in the areas of industry and finance.
He expressed the hope that the bamboo scenario would significantly improve with the setting up of the National Bamboo Mission and National Mission of Bamboo Application by the government of India.
He said the north east though economically underdeveloped, is rich in natural resources with bamboo as a prominent natural resource. Ansari pointed that region made up 8% of the total geographical area of the country but accounted only for 66% of bamboo resources of the country though it was spread over an area of about 3.10 million hectares and housing over 89 species of bamboo.
He said conservative estimated value of raw stock of bamboo in the region was conservatively was around Rs 5000 crores and even a modest target of two fold value addition to the stock through suitable methodologies could generate an annual turnover of approximately Rs 10,000 crore from the region alone.
He said the market size of bamboo in the country was expected to touch the figure of Rs 42,000 crores in the next 15 to 20 years. He said such an enormous potential for wealth creation in rural areas if properly exploited, would truly change the day to day lives of the people for the better.
Quoting from the Nagaland Bamboo Policy 2004, he said “from the cutting of the umbilical cord to the mats that have wrapped the dead for burial, Bamboo has been integral to the life of the Nagas.”
He described Nagaland as a pioneer in promoting bamboo by adopting the State Bamboo Policy in 2004 and congratulated the state chief minister and the state government for taking the initiative and called on bamboo producing states to emulate Nagaland. He said the policy articulated the development of bamboo in Nagaland along two approaches - development of Bamboo as a Resource and development of bamboo as an enterprise.
The vice president also congratulated the government of Nagaland and World Bamboo Organization for taking the initiative to organize the important event of World Bamboo Day.
Earlier, the vice president apologized for his late arrival at Kohima as he had to travel by road when two successive attempts to fly by helicopter had to be abandoned due to bad weather. Upon arrival, Ansari unveiled the monolith erected in his honour by the Nagaland government, declaring him as the honorary citzen of Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.
Guest of honour, Governor of Nagaland Nikhil Kumar said that the World Bamboo Day celebration in Nagaland was a recognition of the awareness of great potential that bamboo has for the environment and economic development of the people in rural areas. He said Nagaland produces nearly 5% of the country’s growing bamboo stock covering an area of 4,48,000 hectares.
He also affirmed that permanent peace in the state would create conditions conducive to development, progress and prosperity.
Earlier, chief host, chief minister Neiphiu Rio in his welcome address said the presence of the vice president of India at a key celebration of World Bamboo Day in Nagaland was an encouragement to all people associated with bamboo and promoting its use. He said the adoption of World Bamboo Day was an effort to enhance awareness of bamboo globally and elevate its potential. The World Bamboo Day was declared on September 18, 2009 during the 8th World Bamboo Congress held at Bangkok.
Next Bamboo Congress in Europe
Chief minister Neiphiu Rio who is also an honorary council member of the World Bamboo Organization, Saturday announced that the next World Bamboo Congress would be held from April 10-13, 2012 at Antwerp Belgium focusing on Bamboo Biosciences, Bioengineering and Agro-forestry and from September 17-21, 2012 at Toulouse France focusing on Bamboo Design Innovation and Architecture.

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