North East India in general and Assam in particular has immense untapped potential in the bamboo sector. Speaking during the ‘Making Bamboo Stronger’, session at the inaugural edition of Green old Bamboo Summit held at Guwahati on the 28th of April, Preeti Sinha, Senior President and Glocal Convenor, Yes Institute said “Bamboo the fastest-growing plant, is now a $60 billion industry, catalyzing the economic boom in Asia & Africa.”
Green Gold Bamboo Summit, an initiative of Government of Assam brought together all relevant stakeholders associated with the Bamboo value chain. The Summit was attended by close to 300 delegates from Assam, the rest of North East region and potential investors form across the country apart from an international delegation from Taiwan. The overall theme of the Summit was ‘Make In Assam: Harnessing the Bamboo Wealth’.
NGO Care Luit in association with India’s First Bamboo Promotion and Bamboo Entrepreneurship development Digital media platform GreenGoldBamboo.com were the organizers of the summit. AIDC and SMEpost.com were the other partners of the summit.
Ms. Sinha spoke about various financial interventions that can enable build the bamboo chain across various stages starting from Bamboo plantation, bamboo processing, access to market, inculcating new technology to developing consumer campaigns to promote bamboo.
“From growing global shift for sustainable and ecofriendly products, upholding the Climate Agenda, upholding agro-forestry in the State, Bamboo aligns well with global and domestic agenda”, said Ms. Sinha
“It was great to witness Assam government leadership articulate its policy intent while subject matter experts shared their experience and some of the young Bamboo entrepreneurs gained from the emerging conversation. The idea is to create linkages between all relevant stakeholders and our bamboo cultivators”, said Raktim Das, Founder, GreenGoldBamboo.com.
“From a poor man’s timber to green gold, bamboo is fast emerging as the super material of the 21st century. Leveraging this can spur gainful employment and income generation. It has huge potential in transforming Job Seekers into Job Creators” added Das.
Making a detailed presentation on Innovative ways to finance Bamboo Value Chains, Ms. Sinha elaborated on the following 4 key points
- Contributing to financing new/ existing agro-forestry funds. Here she gave example of Terra Bella Global Fund
- Creation of schemes that emphasize Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)
- Creation of a Loan Guarantee Scheme
- Launch of Land-Use Bonds
“An agroforestry fund focused on providing early-stage project finance capital to high impact community-based forest and agricultural emissions reductions projects in developing countries can go a long way in unlocking private capital in this sector”, said Ms. Sinha