BHUBANESWAR: In a step to increase the availability of bamboo in the State, Odisha Government has decided to augment its production through Raw Material Procurers (RMPs).
This was decided at the empowered committee meeting presided over by Chief Secretary GC Pati at the State Secretariat on Friday. Pati directed the Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) to take feedback from the stakeholders, including the potential RMPs, on the dynamics of bamboo cultivation and trading so as to make interventions more effective.
It was decided that degraded bamboo forests of 5,000 sq km will be regenerated by OFDC with involvement of Vana Sanrakshyana Samities (VSSs). All pre-bidding operations and modalities of bamboo production will be over by September 15, 2015. Field operations will be started by October 1, 2015.
Bamboo forests will be regulated as per the provisions of Odisha Forest Produce (Control of Trade) Act and Rules taking into account the approved working plan. The sale of bamboo to artisans and for relief will be made by OFDC as per the prevailing practices.
Bamboo operations through RMPs will be allowed for a period of one rotation i.e. four years. It has been targeted to produce 40,000 to 45,000 sale units of bamboo in the State. The details of the target will be decided after getting feedback from stakeholders and market demand. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) has been advised to set division-wise targets for bamboo plantation.
The OFDC has earned good profit from bamboo operations during the last three years. The Corporation had paid a royalty of `350 lakh to the State Government in 2011-12 which increased to `402 lakh in 2012-13. The corporation paid `340 crore royalty in 2013-14.
Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) R Balakrishnan, PCCF JD Sharma and senior officials attended the meeting.