Soon after the Modi government took over in 2014, the prime minister had stated that every effort would be made to bring the northeastern region on par with the more developed regions of the country, he said.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday that bamboo is going to be an important component of India’s post-COVID-19 economy and play a key role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘vocal for local’ campaign.
Addressing a webinar with various clusters of Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC), stake-holders and people associated with bamboo trade, Singh said bamboo will propel the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ in the northeastern region and is going to be an important vehicle of trade for India.
“Bamboo is not only vital to northeast India’s post-COVID-19 economy but it will also herald a new momentum for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of ‘Vocal for Local’,” he said.
The Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) gave a call for ‘create, curate and coordinate’ for the bamboo sector for its full exploitation, branding, packaging and marketing in India and abroad.
Underlining the “unexpected” potentials of this sector “which was neglected for the last 70 years”, Singh said the Modi government has the capacity and the will to unlock its potential to the highest level as 40 per cent of all bamboo resources lie in the northeastern region in the country.
He said despite India being the second largest producer of bamboo and cane in the world, its share in global trade is only five per cent.
The minister said the sensitivity with which the Modi government views the importance of the promotion of bamboo is evident from the fact that it amended the century-old Forest Act by taking home-grown bamboo out of the purview of the Forest Act, in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through it.
Singh said the prime minister has always accorded highest priority to northeast. Soon after the Modi government took over in 2014, the prime minister had stated that every effort would be made to bring the northeastern region on par with the more developed regions of the country, he said.
In the last six years, the minister said, not only developmental gaps were bridged successfully, but the region was supported in all its endeavours.
On the occasion, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rejiju said the DoNER Ministry has done well to promote the bamboo sector and now the onus lies on all the eight northeastern states to make it a vehicle of prosperity for the whole region.
In his address, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameshwar Teli said apart from the huge employment opportunities, the bamboo sector can be a main pillar of ecological, medicinal, paper and building sectors in India.