Bamboo and Rural Prosperity

Craftspersons/ Artisanal, Entrepreneurship, Business Devt., Environment, Ecology, Compliance, Skilling, Training, Professional Devt.

Bamboo and Rural Prosperity: Leveraging the Seedlings of Wealth

Ranjan, M P

Bamboo is abundantly grown in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, particularly in the eastern districts of the State. This Central State of the Indian sub-continent had dense forest cover that had been studied by British foresters over two hundred years ago. Traditional communities in Madhya Pradesh have used bamboo for several centuries as a basic resource material for basketry, home building and for agricultural supports. When industrialisation touched Madhya Pradesh the bamboo resources were exploited for the production of paper and rayon in a few large-scale mills set up near the forest tracts. Bamboo is treated as a minor forest product and is managed and monitored by the forest departments of the Government of Madhya Pradesh. One species dominates the forest tracts of Madhya Pradesh and this is Dendrocalamus strictus, which grows in the rain fed forest tracts in abundant quantities. The forest working plans for each district takes care of management and utilisation of these bamboo resources. State and National laws govern the extraction and movement of these bamboo resources within and outside the State. The local communities of bamboo workers called Basods are given special privileges in the use of the local resource through legal dispensation that is monitored by the forest departments at the district level. The Basods make their livelihood from the conversion of the bamboo resources into ba...
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