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“Bamboo as green gold” in J&K
9/19/2020 12:22:04 AM


Bamboo is one of the fastest growing and highest yielding renewable natural resource making it a good substitute to wood in mitigating pressure on natural forests.
Before starting with my topic, let me just give you an overview.
According to reports, India is the world’s second largest cultivar of bamboo after China, 136 species and 23 genera spread over 13.96 million hectares, according to the state of Environment report 2018. The National bamboo mission under Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare, has been initiated to provide a boost to livelihood and environmentally acreage.
Every year, September 18 is observed as the World Bamboo Day by the World Bamboo Organization, in order to generate awareness about conserving and promoting the bamboo industry.
Why Bamboo is known as green gold?
Bamboo is known as green gold, because it is ubiquitous as it dominates rural and urban landscapes. From artifacts to sustainable architecture, bamboo remains a favourite as it’s fast to grow , low on maintenance and has versatile potential.
According to the (FSI) ” Forest Survey Of India” (2011), more than 50 percent of bamboo species are found in eastern India, including in States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.
Utilisation of bamboo make it a green gold. Bamboo utensils, fishing nets, jars, vases, basket, make it a quintessential cultural tradition in the region. Bamboo is mostly used in North East India, in their food processing, and even as a containers.
Green gold:-
Bamboo wanders, wherever human imagination travels. Known as ‘poor man’s timber’ bamboo is omnipresent in tribal culture and community living. Rural communities engage with bamboo handicrafts, textiles, artifacts and household utilities. Examples are:-
1) Tripura bamboo silks, heritage cuisines with roasted and pickled bamboo shoots
2) cultural symbols like the Assamese ‘Jappi’ (made of bamboo cane and palm) widely popular bamboo tree houses, machans,
3) besides modern sustainable agricultural concepts and musical instruments.
Now let’s come to the topic, Why is Bamboo known as the green gold in Jammu and Kashmir government?
Bamboo has a vast potential for generating income and employment in the state. There is an immense potential in the bamboo production in Jammu and Kashmir UT. Bamboo is also called as ‘wonder plant’, green gold, emperor of Grasses, woods of the poor etc. Because, It is used by the people in their everyday utilities.
The cue given by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on the significance of bamboo cultivation in raising the economy especially during post COVID-19 time how much relevance as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned since this plant can play a key role in changing socio Economic spectrum of the region. Though, the Union Minister has laid more emphasis on bamboo cultivation in North east but experts in J&K are advocating to harness the bamboo wealth for bigger prospects. According to them, wastelands can be well utilised by bamboo cultivation as it has immense population in UT. Dr. Jitendra Singh added that there is approximately 8.96 million hectares of forest area of this country which is covered by bamboo and North East is the home for over 60% of India’s bamboo Reserves. As suggested by the Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh, Bamboo is an important natural resource for ecological, socio-economic and cultural development. The speciality of this plant is that it is closely interwoven with the life of the people in several ways. Bamboo has many uses as a substitute for fast depleting wood and as an alternative expensive materials. In nutshell, Jammu and Kashmir can safely rely on bamboo cultivation for strengthening its rural economy.
Need to Harness the Bamboo wealth in Jammu and Kashmir:
Jammu and Kashmir state lies in the North West of the country, having total geographical area 222,236 sq.kms and its total population is 1,25,48,926 ( 2011 census). About 19.95% of the total Geographical area is under forest. Ladakh region receives very less rainfall and is thus devoid of forest contributing about 0.06% to the state forest area. Around 59% of the geographical area of the state is under permanent snow cover, glaciers and cold desert and thus unable to grow trees.
The National level goal in forestry is to cover at least two thirds of the total areas in hilly region under forest and tree cover. Jammu and Kashmir regions forest account for 47% of the geographical area, Jammu and Kashmir adopted its own forest policy to maintain adequate forest in various region of the state in 2011.
There is need to popularise the bamboo cultivation particularly in wastelands as bamboo cultivation has immense potential in the state. Bamboo cultivation is highly commercial industry and its cultivation reduces soil erosion.
Bamboo has vast potential for generating income and employment in the state. Already some areas of the state such as Kanjali and Chumbian villages in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir are producing bamboo at commercial level.
This plant is gifted by nature in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. India is second richest country in bamboo genetic resources after China. These two countries together have more than half the total bamboo resources in world. It can be use in various ways: food, fodder, construction material , paper, material, mats, papers, bags, Musical instruments etc. Bamboo is grown about 9.57 million hectares in India which constitutes about 12.8 % of the total area under forest. Out of 22 genera available in India , 19 are indigenous and 3 are exotic. The annual production of bamboo in India is about 4.6 million tonnes. The annual yield of bamboo per hectare varies between 0.2 to 0.4 tonnes depending upon intensity of stocking.
Its growth rate ranges between 30 cms to 100 cms per day. It generates more oxygen. It protects from the harmful UV rays of sun. And it is also an atmospheric and soil purifier.
Nutrient analysis of edible bamboo are:-
It contains: 77% to 84% moisture; 4% to 7% Protein; 5% Carbohydrates; 12-13 mg/100g Vitamin C; and N, P, K, Ca, Mg, P as minerals. Bamboo has the potential for checking soil erosion, fast vegetative growth cover to deformed areas and road embankment stabilization.
There should be strong linkage between the bamboo growers and research workers. Bamboo can play a huge Role in the socio-economic and Economic upliftment of J&K state. GIS based information system should be developed for the protected areas. Its cultivation can be promoted by more bamboo plantation, more bamboo processing, access to market, inculcating new technologies to uplift the rural economy of the state.
If you want to grow bamboo, than let me tell you about the cultivation of bamboo!
How to Cultivate Bamboo?
Indoor Bamboo cultivation steps.
Bamboo, typically thought of an Asian plant can grow almost anywhere in the world. There are more than 1200 varieties of bamboo, but each of these varieties falls into one of two groups: clumping or running bamboo.
Outdoor (in garden) cultivation
Steps to cultivate bamboo:
1. Decide on type of Bamboo.:-
a) Clumping bamboo:- this work best for container garden or small areas.
b) Running bamboo:-works best when it’s intended to fill in large area of a landscape to create natural fence.
2. Consult local garden for information about the different varieties of bamboo available.
3. Prepare the site and soil for bamboo plantings.
4. Dig a hole twice as deep and as wide as the container the bamboo currently lives in, and backfill the hole with the prepared soil.
5. Remove the bamboo from the container
6. Keep the bamboo well watered.
How to care for Bamboo plants in Garden?
Caring if bamboo plants is simple and easy because it is versatile plant can be grow anywhere easily.
Choosing a location for bamboo plants:- Bamboo (Bambusa spp) is a versatile plant and most species don’t need care and can survive in any condition. But bamboo grown in full sun condition will grow the fastest. Bamboo plants also likely to have fertile soils, slightly acidic and well drained but moist soil is favourable.
Caring for Bamboo plants:- just a favourable climate and lot of water will make bamboo grow faster. And if possible do not rake up leaves from the bamboo roots. The roots will help keep the roots protected and moist. They will also return essential nutrients to soil as they decompose which will encourage bamboo growth. Adding a layer of mulch to bamboo roots will also keep bamboo strong. Proper bamboo plants care recommend that a layer of compost or balanced fertilizer be added in the spring.
Controlling Bamboo growth:- sometimes bamboo growing in your yard will grow too much. It is important to find out how aggressive your variety of bamboo is. If you have Vigorous growing bamboo such as running type, you need to install a barrier, if the clump is already established.
The barrier should go down atleast 2 to 3 inches above ground. The barrier should surround thee bamboo completely.
Assam is the largest bamboo producing state in India.
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