BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to increase coverage area under bamboo plantation to provide more scope for employment to artisans and plan for their skill development.
Official sources said a move will be made to go for plantation in non-forest Government and private lands. This will allow bamboo plantation in farmers’ fields, community lands, arable wastelands, irrigation canals and water bodies.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi reviewed the activities of the Bamboo Mission recently and asked to scale up the efforts to provide more scope for employment.
Odisha has a mixed bamboo forest of 18,000 square kilometers (sqkm) and pure bamboo forest of 400 sqkm which produces 1.5 lakh tonne of bamboo annually. Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts account for one third of bamboo production in the State. However, the thrust will be to improve the productivity of bamboo in Odisha which is one of the lowest. At present productivity of bamboo is less than two tonnes per hectare (ha). The highest productivity in the country is 10 tonne per ha.
Sources said stress was given at the meeting on inter-disciplinary synergy to increase production and productivity of bamboo in the State as over one lakh artisans depend on the sector for their livelihood.
Low productivity and less production has also come in the way of development of bamboo industry in the State. Inadequate skill development and low awareness in bamboo products are major constraints. Several promoters of bamboo industry from Tripura have evinced keen interest to invest in Odisha. Official sources said Tripura has forged ahead with ultra modern techniques in furniture making. The State Government has also decided to explore the possibilities in this sector to generate employment potential for the youths.