Kerala Govt Floats SPV to Promote Bamboo Industry
By Pramod Thomas | ENS | Published: 14th August 2014 06:00 AM |
KOCHI: In an effort to develop more value added products from bamboo, the state government has set up an innovation centre for bamboo and related industries.
To be based at KSBC headquarters at Angamaly in Ernakulam district, the main objective of the centre will be to produce innovative bamboo products using technology. The state government has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the running the centre, which will be run jointly by Kerala State Bamboo Mission and Kerala State Bamboo Corporation (KSBC).
“This is a first of its kind initiative to route the bamboo sector from the traditional path to the technological way,” said T Sukumaran Nair, Managing Director, KSBC.
It is estimated that in Kerala, bamboo cultivation is spread across an area of 21,123 sq.km. The estimated stock of bamboo in the state is 26.30 lakh tonnes with yearly availability of around 16,000 tonnes. The state government has allotted Rs 1.51 crore for the development of bamboo and related industries in this year’s budget with Rs 40 lakh earmarked for the innovation centre.
“The bamboo sector has been using traditional methods for long. But in order to scale up, it has to embrace technology. Now the products range using bamboo is limited to handicrafts. With the formation of the innovation centre we are hopeful of making value added products. As part of diversification the corporation had developed bamboo tiles, mats, curtains, roofs etc. But the fact is that an entire building could be constructed with bamboo if technology is being used. Hence, the innovation centre is an initiative in the right direction,” Nair said.
The annual turnover of the bamboo sector in India is pegged at around Rs 2,400 crore. It is estimated that about 250 crore people use bamboo in one form or the other at the global level. The annual turnover of the industry globally is estimated at about Rs 50,000 crore and it is expected to double by 2015.
Around one lakh people in the state are dependent on bamboo for their livelihood. There are about 20,000 workers and 115 employees who are associated with KSBC. The workers mainly come from Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts, said P J Joy, Chairman, KSBC.