The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has introduced a project named “Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought” (BOLD) to support rural industry, reduce desertification and ensure livelihood opportunities in tribal areas.
In the unique scientific exercise, 5,000 saplings of special bamboo species Bambusa Tulda and Bambusa Polymorpha specially brought from Assam have been planted over 25 bighas (nearly 16 acres) of vacant arid gram panchayat land.
The Bambusa Tulda is used for making ‘Agarbatti (incense)’ sticks while the Bambusa Polymorpha is used for making furniture and handicraft items while bamboo waste is widely used in making charcoal and fuel briquette.
Bamboos, which are also known for conserving water and reducing evaporation of water from the land surface, are an important feature in arid and drought-prone regions.
The first of its kind project was launched on July 3, 2021, at the tribal village ‘Nichla Mandwa’ in Udaipur, Rajasthan, by KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena in presence of local MP Arjun Lal Meena and more than 2,000 local villagers.
MP Arjun Lal Meena said “the bamboo plantation program in Udaipur will boost self-employment in the region.
He said such projects will benefit a large number of women and unemployed youths in the region by connecting them to skill development programs,” according to a report.
Bamboos are fine sources to reduce land degradation, check land desertification, achieve sustainable development and solve food security issues. It also resolves the problems related to famine, mass migration of animals and birds.
Furthermore, to develop the plantation site into a hub of beekeeping activities, KVIC has planted 100 trees each of papaya, pomegranate and Moringa. KVIC has judiciously chosen bamboo for developing green patches.
Bamboos grow very fast and in about three years’ time, they could be harvested, and income recorded. In these three years, the 5,000 bamboo plants will produce at least 20,000 logs weighing about 500 metric tons.
At the current market rate of Rs 5,000 per ton, this bamboo produce will generate an income of nearly Rs 25 lakh after three years and later on every year, thus supporting the local economy.
The KVIC has thus created a world record of planting the highest number of bamboo saplings on a single day at one location. The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s “Khadi Bamboo Festival” to celebrate 75 years of independence or “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
KVIC Chairman said the green patches of bamboo on these three places will help in reducing the land degradation percentage of the country, while on the other hand, they will be havens of sustainable development and food security. “Bamboo plantation drive on such a large scale will create additional income for the local tribal population while it will also support the local bamboo-based industries and thus boost the rural economy.”
“In three years, these bamboo patches will be able to meet the bamboo requirement of Agarbatti manufacturers in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. This way, the bamboo patches will fulfil the larger UN sustainable development goals (SDGs),” Saxena added, according to media reports.
The KVIC is set to replicate the project at village Dholera in the Ahmedabad district of Gujarat and Leh-Ladakh region by August this year. Overall 15,000 bamboo saplings will be planted before August 21 this year.
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