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Japan’s help to Mizoram to prop-up bamboo industry, check landslides

Two roadway projects are also afoot in Mizoram with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

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There could be another function where Modi will announce the second tranche of transfer, sources said. (*Representational photo)
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Mizoram has the largest bamboo cover in India compared to the geographical area covered by other states,(*Representational photo)

Soon, Japan may extend help to Mizoram in the development of its bamboo industry and road construction projects. Along with this, it may help in alleviating the impact of natural disasters in the area, Kenji Hiramatsu, Japanese Ambassador to India said on Thursday.

The push will be towards setting up an industry for the value addition to the state’s bamboo resources, Hiramatsu told reporters, post a meeting with Mizoram’s chief minister Zoramthanga.

While Mizoram has the largest bamboo cover in India compared to the geographical area covered by other states, it lacks major industry that could harness the potential of its resources, officials told PTI. More than half of Mizoram’s land has bamboo forests. With this, Mizoram has more than 30 species of bamboo in the state.

Also, the northeastern state Mizoram is heavily prone to landslides, where the disaster is a recurring menace. Sharing similar topographical and terrain features, Japan too is vulnerable to landslides, Hiramatsu said. Hence, Japan could be of help to Mizoram in alleviating the issue by providing technology to tackle with it, the Japanese ambassador added.

Two roadway projects are also afoot in Mizoram with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The agency coordinates official development assistance for the Japan government. Improvement of agriculture and horticulture methods, along with maximum utilisation of forest wealth was also discussed by Mizoram Chief Minister and Kenji Hiramatsu.

Japan is keen to do more business in the Information Technology sector, said Hiramatsu. He is the first Japanese Ambassador to India to visit Mizoram.

Previously, India had replaced Japan in January 2019 as world’s second largest steel producing country, while China is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 per cent of production, PTI had reported. The global steel body in its latest report noted that China’s crude steel output jumped 6.6 per cent to 928.3 million tonnes (MT) in 2018 from 870.9 MT in 2017. China’s share increased from 50.3 per cent in 2017 to 51.3 per cent in 2018.

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