The External Affairs Ministry is ever ready to link with foreign countries for promotion of bamboo and bamboo products from Manipur as well as the country, Union Minister of State for Education and External Affairs RK Ranjan on Sunday.
He said the same during World Bamboo Day celebration jointly organised by Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach, Manipur State Bamboo Mission and South Asia Bamboo Foundation at IBSD conference hall.
The union minister said that the ministry is waiting for the varieties of bamboo products from entrepreneurs so that they can be linked with foreign countries if they need any kind of marketplace or export chain for the products outside India.
He further stated that the National Education Policy, 2020 has a lot of scope for skilling the students and youths in the bamboo industry as well.
When asked about the demands from various quarters to declare bamboo as a commodity in India just like tea or coffee considering its versatility, RK Ranjan said that the proposal must come first through official channels.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been supporting all kinds of innovation, production or design which are in line with the “vocal for local” and “aatmanirbhar bharat”, he added.
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It may be mentioned here that India is the world's second largest cultivator of bamboo after China.
The union minister further emphasised the need to explore bamboo diversity and scientific interventions for developing products/processes and improving the socio-economic status of the region.
During the programme, Professor Pulok K Mukherjee, Director, IBSD highlighted the research initiatives of IBSD for the development of bioresources and boosting the bioeconomy of the region.
Kamesh Salam, CEO, South Asia Bamboo Foundation highlighted the inception of World Bamboo Day. He mentioned the initiatives of bamboo promoters all over the globe by organizing various activities to mark this day. Further, he suggested that this event should be recognised by the United Nations since bamboo can achieve most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The programme was attended by scientists, researchers, staff of IBSD and SABF including local entrepreneurs from Manipur. During the programme, bamboo saplings were distributed to farmers and many bamboo products were displayed.