Bamboo Farming Generating Eco-friendly Employment In Himachal

Dharamshala: Keeping in view the threat posed by the excessive use of polythene bags to the environment in Himachal Pradesh, the State Govt. banned its use about decades ago. It is a well known fact that the use of polythene is quite detrimental to our environment. In view of this, apart from different governments, various non-governmental organizations have been giving priority to develop bags and other packing materials other than polythene, to provide consumers some other options.

With an eye on providing alternatives to plastics, Indian Government has formulated the National Bamboo Scheme. Bamboo can be an important means of reducing or eliminating the use of plastic. Many useful items can be made from bamboo. The main aim of this scheme is to reduce the use of plastics or completely discontinue single-use plastics. Bamboo manufactured goods can replace many items used in our daily life. Bamboo water bottles, chopping boards and high quality furniture etc. are currently being made. Apart from this, people have been using handicraft products made from bamboo since long ago.

PD Saini ,Deputy Director, Agriculture said, “Brahmu, a resident of Shahpur, who has been involved in manufacturing and business of various products made of bamboo for two decades, is making various kinds of home kitchen accessories, decorative items, tree guards etc. All bamboo products made by hand test patience and are time consuming and require hard work.” He said that Brahmu is earning a nice sum.

Providing more information about the bamboo, Saini said , “rainy season is appropriate for bamboo transplanting. Fifteen thousand bamboo saplings are being distributed to the farmers of four development blocks in Kangra district. Forty bamboo plants can be planted on one kanal land. The demand for bamboo in Himachal remains high throughout the year. In view of this, the department has prepared an action plan for the year 2020-21, under which there is a provision to plant 90 thousand saplings in a 90 hectare area under the Prime Minister National Bamboo Mission Scheme. There is a provision of 50 percent financial help or a maximum amount of Rs. 25,000 for planting one thousand saplings in 25 kanals on individual land.”

Saini said that a provision has been made to provide training and financial assistance to unemployed youth for setting up bamboo related industries under the scheme. An action plan of Rs. 1.12 crore has been sent to the Central Government from Kangra district for this financial year. It will help in providing livelihood to the weaker sections in rural areas.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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