Mizoram, often referred to as the "Bamboo Queen of the Country," celebrated World Bamboo Day 2023 with grandeur. Dr. K. Pachhunga, MLA and Vice Chairman of Bamboo Development, graced the occasion as the chief guest. This celebration was organized by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Mizoram and saw the participation of Bamboo Development Board members, directors, and officers from various departments.
The festivities included the presentation of awards recognizing excellence in bamboo cultivation and innovation. Awards such as Best Individual Bamboo Plantation, Best Bamboo Cluster Plantation, Best Bamboo Entrepreneur, and Best Bamboo Demo-Plot were conferred upon deserving bamboo farmers and manufacturers of bamboo products.
The highlight of World Bamboo Day 2023 was the exhibition showcasing an array of products crafted from bamboo. Renowned designers and Master Trainers from the National Institute of Design, Bengaluru, and the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, displayed their creations, demonstrating the versatility and aesthetic appeal of bamboo.
Mizoram has been making significant strides in bamboo plantation, with a focus on utilizing specific bamboo species suited for various purposes. Since the Horticulture Department assumed responsibility for the Bamboo Development Programme in 2019, new bamboo plantations have been initiated under the State Flagship Programme, SEDP, aligning with the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and the North Eastern Council (NEC) scheme.
Over 2500 hectares of new bamboo plantations have been established in Mizoram, primarily featuring species like Dendrocalamus brandisii, Dendrocalamus sikkimensis (Rawmi), and Dendrocalamus longispathus (Rawnal). These species are known for their robustness and high yield. Quality planting materials for these plantations have been sourced from accredited bamboo nurseries under the State Bamboo Mission.
Furthermore, Mizoram has witnessed the establishment of a substantial bamboo cluster spanning over 170 hectares, managed by the Ex-MNA Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd. in Saiphal Zau, Hmunpui Ram, Mamit District.
Mizoram's Bamboo Mission has been instrumental in supporting artisans and entrepreneurs in bamboo product development and processing. Initiatives such as the Bamboo Shoot Processing Unit, Furniture Making Unit, and Bamboo Charcoal units have been set up at the Horticulture Centre in Sairang. These facilities are nearly ready for outsourcing to bamboo entrepreneurs, fostering economic growth in the region.
The State Bamboo Mission places a strong emphasis on skill development, capacity building, and the promotion of bamboo artisans and entrepreneurs. The Mizoram Bamboo Centre in Lengpui serves as a training hub for various bamboo-related programs, including Furniture Making, Bamboo Shoot Processing, Jewellery making, Handicrafts, and more.
While Mizoram currently produces 21.06 tonnes of bamboo per hectare from non-forest natural reserves, the new plantations initiated under the State Bamboo Mission are expected to reach maturity within the next year or two, significantly contributing to bamboo production in the state.
Mizoram stands out as the Indian state with the highest percentage of its geographical area covered by bamboo forests, with bamboo resources spanning approximately 57 per cent of its territory.
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