Koraput: A training-cum-processing unit for bamboo craft would soon be set up at Mathpada area in Koraput district to strengthen tribal economy in the backward region, a forest official said.
The proposed unit will be established at Mathpada forest beat under Boipariguda forest range by the Jeypore forest division, he said.
Bamboo was not only environment-friendly but also available in plenty in the area, hence it had been decided to impart training to local communities for its commercial use, Aswin Kumar Kar, Divisional Forest Officer, Jeypore, said.
“Despite its importance and utility, little has been done to develop, promote and commercialise the use of bamboo,” the DFO said.
At least 10 master trainers have been empanelled by the forest department to impart training to the village communities, including women, in preparing decorative items, flower vases, artificial flowers and furniture from bamboo, he said.
Training will be provided at no cost to the village communities and the local Vana Surakhya Samiti will be entrusted with the responsibility to select the people, who will be provided training in batches.
“Bamboo is widely seen as a low-cost-material for building houses, animal shelters and fencing, but people lack the knowledge of processing bamboo to make it last longer. We have procured various types of machinery to process raw bamboos to ensure their longevity,” the DFO said.
The department has also prepared a blue-print for marketing the bamboo products made by the communities.
“We have opened a bamboo bazaar at our central nursery in Jeypore and the bamboo products will be displayed there for sale. We are also in talks with various other government agencies for marketing of the products,” he said.
The project report has been approved by the concerned authorities and the district administration and the project will take off soon, he said.
Local tribal communities have hailed the decision to impart training to them on bamboo craft.
“The training will not only provide us proper techniques of using bamboo but also provide an alternative source of income,” said a resident of Mathpada village.
To promote bamboo cultivation, the forest department has also undertaken bamboo plantation on 65 acres under Boipariguda forest range.
“Local farmers are being motivated to take up bamboo cultivation as it gives good returns from the fifth year of plantation,” said Uma Mahesh, forest range officer of Boipariguda.