National Bamboo Mission

Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission (NBM) falls under the purview of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) during remaining period of Fourteenth Finance Commission (2018-19 & 2019-20).  The Mission would ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector by addressing complete value chain and establishing effective linkage of producers (farmers) with industry.

The National Bamboo Mission (NBM) envisages promoting holistic growth of bamboo sector by adopting area-based, regionally differentiated strategy and to increase the area under bamboo cultivation and marketing.

An outlay of Rs.1290 crore (with Rs. 950 crore as Central share) is provisioned for implementation of the Mission during the remaining period of 14th Finance Commission (2018-19 and 2019-20).

The objectives of NBM are as follows:

  1. To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change as well as availability of quality raw material requirement of industries. The bamboo plantations will be promoted predominantly in farmers’ fields, homesteads, community lands, arable wastelands, and along irrigation canals, water bodies etc.
  2. To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units near the source of production, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.
  3. To promote product development keeping in view market demand, by assisting R&D, entrepreneurship & business models at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
  4. To rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India.
  5. To promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector from production to market demand.
  6. To realign efforts so as to reduce dependency on import of bamboo and bamboo products by way of improved productivity and suitability of domestic raw material for industry, so as to enhance income of the primary producers.

Challenges to the NBM:

  1. Clarity and outreach is required in the rules as farmers currently are unaware as to how to avail benefits of the NBM.
  2. Research is required to effectively realize the objectives of NBM. For example, China scores over India in bamboo cultivation and is the world’s leading manufacturer of bamboo on account of its research and development which has led to Moso bamboo that grows in China and the Far East. Moso bamboo’s physical properties boast an average breaking tenacity more than three times that of cotton, wool, rayon, or polyester and is used in a variety of products from floor and wall paneling to furniture to its fibre being used in clothing.
  3. More training and outreach to farmers is required. For example, Bamboo takes four years to mature after it is planted before it can provide a steady stream of revenue for farmers. It is during this period that the government needs to hand-hold farmers so that they do not cut down the grass from the second year onwards before it reaches its full potential from the fourth year.
  4. There is a requirement of encouraging entrepreneurship in the sector. For e.g. Bamboo sticks are predominantly used in India for making agarbattis for which the sticks are imported from Vietnam and China. With effective entrepreneurship missions, investment in bamboo farming and industry could be arranged thus tapping the domestic and foreign market.

Sources: PIB, National Bamboo Mission and Firstpost