Wednesday 25 July 2012

Bamboo Shoots Promising: Bamboo Resource is declining.


a. Bamboo Shoots as vegetable:-

    Bamboo shoots; this is plenty in the market. Bamboo shoots are available during the month of May to July in every year. This is because bamboo shoots season coincides with the monsoon (even starts with the pre-monsoon rain).  
    It is plenty because; it has a good market as a vegetable item like any other vegetable crops.
 Decades ago, bamboo shoot was found exclusively in the menu of tribal people of the state however, this has changed now. That is to say that earlier it was mostly concentrated within certain section of population of the state.
   But, in last one and half decades have seen rapid changes in terms of taste of the people so is demand. It is rapidly becoming acceptable by almost all people of the state.

b. Remunerative price for Bamboo shoots:-

  This acceptance has led to the market demands and demands led to the remunerative price of the bamboo shoots. In early season; bamboo shoots fetches highest price in the range of the sixty to seventy rupees per kilogram and same is the trends in the later part of the season that is in the month of August and September.
   In the peak extraction season or time bamboo shoots which usually happens in the month of June and July prices stabilizes to the twenty to thirty rupees per kilogram of the bamboo shoots.
 This demands for bamboo shoots and remunerative price has led to the over exploitation of the limited resource. Poor people or forest dwellers in the run up for good returns have frequently extracted the bamboo shoots for marketing in the nearest markets.


a. Bamboo shoots preference affected negatively:-

     This sudden spur of demands due to change of taste has ultimately caused a negative influence in the growth of the bamboo resources of the state.
    It is learnt that huge fund has been spent in the state for improving the cane and bamboo resources through their cultivation under different schemes.
    But in terms of resource creation, it has not been up to the mark. Some blames that all these are due to the destruction of bamboo at the initial stage of formation or growth in the form of extraction of bamboo shoots.
    Looking into the huge quantities of Bamboo shoots at the market, it is well assumed that thousands of Bamboo is perished in the process of collection of bamboo shoot for vegetable purpose in the state.

b. Restriction mechanism to safeguard Bamboo shoots:-  

   Many assume that it is primarily due to unscrupulous extraction of bamboo shoots that bamboo resources conservation and preservation is taking time. Even though there’s reported to be certain restriction for selling of bamboo shoot by the concerned department of the state but fact of the matter is; it is still sold openly in the rural and urban areas of the state.
   It is of course, not known whether people especially those who are involved in extraction of bamboo shoots were aware about the prohibition of selling of bamboo shoot by the Forest department or not.
  But looking to the availability of the bamboo shoots in all markets of the state, it seems that there is nothing like restriction on extraction and sale of the bamboo shoots in the state.

c. Other factors that influenced on Bamboo resources

  But there are several other bamboo based activities people take with the available bamboo resources of the state. There was the golden time for the state because of her rich artistic bamboo based products and Tripura was once considered a state of bamboo crafts.
  As a tradition, there are still people relying on the bamboo based cottage industry through making of hand crafted bamboo items. Government estimates, more than lakhs of people are still depending on the cane and bamboo for their livelihood.
   Bamboo as a matter of fact has been used in several items like bamboo fence making, bamboo incense stick making and many other items to name here.
  Some people rely on selling of matured bamboo, some rely on the finished products and some extract the bamboo shoots at the initiation stage.
   There is also rampant clearing of jungle so is bamboo for establishing other orchard or plantation crops. These are also affecting the over all bamboo stock or resources of the state.

d. Schemes to improve the situation:-

   There are many schemes to revive the Bamboo resources in the state that has been implemented in the state. There are Forest department, Bamboo mission, JICA and agriculture department that have been looking after the bamboo resource creation but despite all out efforts result/outcome is not so visible.
   Some people points that it is due to the failure of the control mechanism that Bamboo is floundering in the state
  Awareness campaigns are said to be conducted in the local level for creating awareness amongst all stakeholder for effective utilization of the bamboo resource however, looking to the abundant
  Bamboo shoots in every markets, frequent campaign, teaching and imposing certain restriction become imminent for checking the unscrupulous extraction of bamboo shoots and also the matured bamboos.

Bamboos as Natural Balancer:-

    As a forest species and component of forest ecology, bamboo maintains good and harmonious forest environment so is suitable climate in the particular place. That is to say that, bamboo species plays an important role in maintaining good environment.
    Therefore, to preserve this useful forest resource, every stakeholder should act according to the established guidelines of the government thereby ensuring the proper growth of bamboo resources in the state.
    State Government is pursuing to increase the Bamboo resource by helping the people financially for bamboo plantation/cultivation, people should also come forward and help in the process for reviving this use forest resource of the state.
   Tripura due to her soil & climatic condition is fortunate to have huge numbers of bamboo species and many species have been identified and promoted for cultivation in different areas.
    All these efforts are being planned and designed to help the people and help them to come over from the poverty but recent trends of people is seeming to over utilize the bamboo shoot or bamboo resources which should be stopped otherwise, the very agenda will remains as un-fulfilled agenda.


   Bamboo at the crucial juncture of dwindling farm income has bright future on consideration that it has multiple demands as mentioned below:-
  • Bamboo shoots as vegetable,
  • Bamboo for handicraft items,
  • Bamboo for incense stick making,
  • Bamboo for bamboo fencing and other domestic uses and
  • Bamboo for other industrial products
    In Tripura, bamboo based value addition has been set and to be operational very shortly which would require huge raw materials for meeting the plant. That means there is a good prospect for bamboo in terms of demands and price.
     Now the best advice would be to try this hardy and easy to maintain species in large scale for realizing the future demands and economic returns.
                                   Agritangjkol dated 24.07.2012


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