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Govt Lifts Export Prohibition on Bamboo Charcoal for Higher Profitability of Bamboo Industry

Bamboo charcoal has a high demand in the international market, and the government's lifting of the export ban will allow the Indian bamboo industry to capitalize on this opportunity and capitalize on the high global demand.

Shivam Dwivedi
Bamboo Cultivation
Bamboo Cultivation

Government has lifted the "export prohibition" on bamboo charcoal, allowing for better utilization of raw bamboo and increased profitability in the Indian bamboo industry. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which supports thousands of bamboo-based industries across the country, has repeatedly asked the government to lift the export ban on bamboo charcoal.

Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman of KVIC, had written to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industries, requesting that the export restriction on bamboo charcoal be lifted for the benefit of the bamboo industry as a whole.

"All bamboo charcoal made from bamboo obtained from legal sources is permitted for export subject to proper documentation/certificate of origin proving that the bamboo used for making charcoal was obtained from legal sources," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade stated in a notification (DGFT).

Saxena, Chairman of KVIC, thanked Minister of Commerce and Industries, Piyush Goyal, for the policy change, saying it would lower the high input cost of raw bamboo and make bamboo-based industries, mostly in remote rural areas, financially viable.

"Bamboo charcoal has a high demand in the international market, and the government's lifting of the export ban will allow the Indian bamboo industry to capitalize on this opportunity and capitalize on the high global demand." This will also ensure the most efficient use of bamboo waste, contributing to the Prime Minister's vision of Waste to Wealth," he said.

Notably, the Indian bamboo industry is currently dealing with extremely high input costs as a result of inefficient bamboo utilization. Bamboo is primarily used in the production of Agarbatti in India, with a maximum of 16% used for the production of bamboo sticks and the remaining 84 percent being a complete waste.

As a result, the Bamboo input cost for Round Bamboo Sticks ranges between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000 per MT, as opposed to the average Bamboo cost of Rs 4,000 to 5,000 per MT.

However, exporting bamboo charcoal would ensure complete utilization of the bamboo waste and thus increase the profitability of the bamboo business. Bamboo charcoal has great potential in international markets such as the United States, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom for barbeque, soil nutrition, and as a raw material for manufacturing activated charcoal.

Previously, in order to increase employment in bamboo-based industries, particularly Agarbatti, KVIC requested policy changes in import on raw Agarbatti and import duty on round bamboo sticks that were heavily imported from Vietnam and China in 2019. Following that, the Ministry of Commerce "restricted" the import of raw Agarbatti in September 2019, and the Ministry of Finance raised the import duty on round bamboo sticks in June 2020.

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