1. Agriculture World

Kathua to Become Bamboo Industry's Hub in J&K

The department has so far opened 19 bamboo cooperative societies under the financial support system, including eight in the fiscal year 2021-22, according to officials. According to the government, nine local bamboo artists have been dispatched to Assam for a 21-day capacity building and skill development training in the bamboo craft.

Shivam Dwivedi
Bamboo Plants
Bamboo Plants

Officials said the region's peculiar topography and geo-climatic conditions, which provide a climate favourable to bamboo plants, have resulted in the establishment of 19 bamboo cooperative societies, eight of which were sanctioned during the financial year 2021-22.

"Bamboo plants are abundant in the Shivalik range of hills in Kathua, which runs parallel to the Jammu-Pathankot route. It has enormous potential for producing revenue and creating jobs in the district,” an officer said.

The department has so far opened 19 bamboo cooperative societies under the financial support system, including eight in the fiscal year 2021-22, according to officials. According to the government, nine local bamboo artists have been dispatched to Assam for a 21-day capacity building and skill development training in the bamboo craft.

Opening of Bamboo Clusters

They are intended to function as catalysts by offering training to other interested local craftsmen after completing their course in Assam. Bamboo clusters will be opened in Dewal and Billawar under the North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC), according to the assistant director of Kathua's handicrafts department, for which a survey is being done and camps to register artisans are being organized.

Bamboo is also known as the 'miracle plant,' 'green gold,' 'emperor of grasses,' and 'woods of the poor,' because to its widespread use by humans.

"Bamboo has been increasingly intertwined with people's lives in Kathua during the last few years in a variety of ways. Aside from being utilized as a construction material, it's also used to make everyday objects like baskets, chairs, tables, brushes, almirahs, beds, and decorative items. People also make a living by selling a variety of bamboo artefacts "a unit owner stated

One advanced and three elementary bamboo training centres are located in Kathua's department of handicrafts. They stated that it also contains a bamboo common facilities centre and a showroom for relic exhibition. The department has cooperated with the School of Design, Jammu, to familiarize local artisans with the newest trends in order to improve their designs, they said.

The department of handicrafts in Kathua operates four training centres with an annual intake capacity of 80 trainees. According to them, the trained artisans are creating a variety of new bamboo items, including design pen stands, ornamental table chair sets, flower baskets, Atal Setu (bridge) models, name plates, bamboo flowers with supports, and round tables.

The government is offering non-refundable financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh per year in two equal payments to the Bamboo Co-operative Societies to strengthen the manufacture and marketing of bamboo artifacts, they added.

According to them, the union territory administration has also inked a Memorandum of Understanding for Bamboo Entrepreneurship and Bamboo Infrastructure Development in Jammu & Kashmir with NECBDC Assam.

This Memorandum of Understanding focuses on bamboo cultivation, processing, related industries, and the development of the bamboo industry. It will promote the promotion of start-up businesses by creating financial and market links for bamboo produce, as well as building training facilities for farmers, entrepreneurs, craftspeople, and villagers involved in the bamboo industry, they stated. It would also make market awareness easier for entrepreneurs, as well as collaborative exhibitions and export campaigns.

With these developments, Kathua is expected to become the frontrunner in bamboo-based agricultural start-ups, thanks to its versatile properties and multiple uses in agarbattis, pillars, fencing, housing, household products, raw materials for crafts, pulp, paper, boards, fabrics industry, fuel, fodder, charcoal, food, pickle, garments, socks, jewellery, tooth brushes, and medicine, among other things, they said.

"This will pave the path for the establishment and growth of the bamboo industry in Kathua. At the same time, it emphasizes the industry's enormous potential to transform the region's economy while also providing unlimited chances for Kathua's artists "According to the top officer.

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