BAMBOO PLANTATION IS A BETTER INITIATIVE

Ishan Biswas

Farmers and youth in Tripura are engaging themselves in bamboo nursery and plantation activities to make an earning. The forest department of Ampi nagar branch has also taken this initiative since many years back. The forest department has emphasized over this bamboo project here at Ampi nagar as here is available forest lands exist. Ampi branch of the forest department has created many gardens in different remote ADC panchayats which will generate appreciable benefits for the local JFMC members in future. There are many ST families are here who engaged with this bamboo gardening project in different mountainous areas in Gumati Tripura.
In several villages in remote tribal areas where there was once a den of the militants, young entrepreneurs are getting involved in bamboo nursery and plantation business now.Farmers who were once engaged with paddy and vegetable cultivation are now turning into bamboo growers as it is more profitable and there is huge demand for bamboo-made products traditionally as well as in industrial and construction activities.
In many areas bamboo groves have succumbed to flowering and fruiting. Many villagers have started a nursery of bamboo sapling to sell them to people those who want to grow bamboo.
In recent times in Tripura there was huge crisis of bamboo particularly after the gregarious flowering followed the death of the entire grove. With the state governments initiative under Bamboo Mission for bamboo plantation to fill the forest area beside river embankments there has been huge demand of bamboo sapling which the state government nurseries are finding tough to fulfill the demands.
"We have grown bamboo sapling in nursery for running our family better. I am a house wife and side-by-side I also work in this nursery to help my husband who had setup the bamboo nursery with hope that we can profit and develop," said, a bamboo nursery owner.
"Our village was attacked by NLFT (militants) in which 10 non-tribal people were killed and that created a rivalry between the tribal and the non-tribal. A present the situation is peaceful and we are growing bamboo nursery here. The forest department here has huge demand for bamboo sapling as they are going to plant it to stop breaking of river embankments by plantation of bamboo throughout the river banks, beside this various pandals, construction works, fencing, and at present demands for bamboo in small scale industry for producing various decorative items of bamboo like sofa, chairs and many others are there and so the return from bamboo is also very profitable," said,  another bamboo nursery worker.
Moreover, with the setting up of bamboo based industries in the state the demand is on rise and which has turned bamboo in a lucrative item
Hence to make the most of the demand for private bamboo nurseries and keeping this idea Centre for Forest-Based Livelihood and Extension, trained and supported the youths and farmers of many villagers are in bamboo nursery and plantation activities.
After various training for capacity building in the area on date there are many youths and farmers who are directly or indirectly engaged with bamboo nursery or plantation. These growers expressed that bamboo is a very profitable item as there is huge demand and scope of utilizing this in versatile things and thus more and more people are getting encouraged in growing bamboo with again is rising the demand for the saplings.They added that with Tripura getting normal as insurgency has been neutralised most the people of the state have returned back to the ancestral villages, which once they were compelled to leave due to insurgency, now people are fulfilling those barren areas with bamboo sapling as the market for bamboo is even better and profitable than paddy, vegetable or rubber. Most of the growers viewed that bamboo which is also called 'Green Gold', will also fulfil their dream for a better future and better return from their small initiative in the coming days.