Correspondent IMPHAL, Feb 4 - The World Bamboo Workshop, the first of its kind in the country that will showcase the best bamboo products from across the globe besides spreading bamboo promotion activities, began in Imphal today.
Chief Minister Biren Singh speaking at the inaugural.
This is the third workshop being organised by the World Bamboo Organization (WBO) USA, in association with the Manipur government. The first one was held in Mexico in 2017, and the second in Peru in 2018. The workshop aims to bring all the scientific, technical and traditional knowledge available around the world to the venue. Many bamboo products are being exhibited in 50 stalls and a few pavilions. The five-day event will have lectures, hands-on training, exhibitions, and cultural shows till February 8.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Works Minister Th Biswajit Singh, Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar, WBO president Michel Abadei and executive director Susanne Lucas, and world bamboo ambassador Dr Nirmala Chongtham who teaches Botany at Panjab University attended the colourful inaugural function at the city convention centre.
Addressing the gathering, Biren Singh said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian Forest Act was amended after 90 years, where it was declared that bamboo is no longer a tree.
“With this amendment, bamboo can now be cultivated in non-forest areas also. This will increase farmers’ income and also increase the green cover,” he said.
India has 15.69 million hectares of land under bamboo cultivation, the second largest after China but the country’s share in world bamboo trade is insignificant. In the North East, only 28 per cent of the land is under bamboo cultivation but it contributes nearly 66 per cent of India’s total bamboo production.
With bamboo experts from across the world attending the workshop, Biren Singh hoped it will help in developing a roadmap of bamboo-related activities in the region. He also invited the foreign delegates to conduct an aerial survey of the state’s bamboo belts.
Manipur will sign MoUs with two companies – Dicma Trade of Mexico in the construction sector and Gromore Biotech of Bengaluru on tissue culture of bamboo. More than 200 delegates including experts from 34 countries have registered for the workshop.