National Bamboo Mission | 07 Dec 2022

For Prelims: National Bamboo Mission, Bamboo Sector, Central Sponsored Scheme, Initiatives Related to Bamboo.

For Mains: Significance of Bamboo Sector.

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture has formed an Advisory Group for streamlining the development of the Bamboo sector under the restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM).

What is the National Bamboo Mission?

  • About:
    • The restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM) was launched during 2018-19 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
    • NBM mainly focuses on the development of the complete value chain of Bamboo sector to link growers with consumers starting from planting material, plantation, creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing, micro, small & medium enterprises, skilled manpower and brand building initiative in a cluster approach mode.
  • Objective:
    • 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.
    • Connecting farmers to markets so as to enable farmer producers to get a ready market for the bamboo grown and to increase the supply of appropriate raw material to the domestic industry.
    • It also endeavours to upgrade skills of traditional bamboo craftsmen as per the requirement of contemporary markets with a tie-up with enterprises and premier institutes.
  • Nodal Ministry:
    • The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

What is the Potential of Bamboo?

  • Significance:
    • The bamboo industry is witnessing a phase change by the opening of multiple avenues of resource utilization.
    • Bamboo is a versatile group of plants which is capable of providing ecological, economic and livelihood security to the people
    • Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated the new terminal of the Bengaluru (Kempagowda) Airport in which the versatility of bamboo as an architectural and structural material has been proved and the destiny of this green resource defined as the ‘green steel’.
    • Apart from using in the construction sector as design and structural element, the potential of bamboo is multifaceted.
    • Ecofriendly mouldable granules from bamboo can replace the use of plastic. Bamboo is a reliable source for the ethanol and bio-energy production due to its fast rate of growth and abundance.
    • The market of Bamboo based lifestyle products, cutleries, home decors, handicrafts and cosmetics also is in a growth path.
  • Status of Bamboo Production in India:
    • India has the highest area (13.96 million ha) under bamboo and is the second richest country, after China, in terms of bamboo diversity with 136 species (125 indigenous and 11 exotic).

What are the Initiatives to Promote Bamboo?

  • Bamboo Clusters: The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has virtually inaugurated 22 bamboo clusters in 9 states viz. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka.
  • MSP Hike: Recently, the Central government has revised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
    • MFP includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, waxes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, lac, tusser etc.
  • Removal of Bamboo from ‘Tree’ Category: The Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in 2017 to remove bamboo for the category of trees.
    • As a result, anyone can undertake cultivation and business in bamboo and its products without the need of a felling and transit permission.
  • Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs): 10,000 new FPOs will be formed in 5 years.
    • FPOs engage in providing a range of assistance to farmers like imparting better farm practices, collectivisation of input purchases, transportation, linkage with markets, and better price realisation as they do away with the intermediaries.

Way Forward

  • States need to take forward the objectives of the National Bamboo Mission which would contribute to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan through an “Aatmanirbhar Krishi (self-reliant farming).
  • With the abundance of bamboo and its rapidly growing industry, India should aim to establish herself in global markets for both engineered and handcrafted products by increasing the exports even further.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill 2017 permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. However, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree and would be guided by the existing legal restrictions. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, recognises bamboo as a Minor Forest Produce and vests the “right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce” with Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers. Hence, statements 2 and 3 are correct.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB