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About: Barak Valley

The Barak Valley lies in the centre of Assam state. The major urban centre of the valley is Silchar. The Barak Valley basically consists of three administrative divisions of Assam namely Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. All these three districts have different districts where there are tea and coffee plantations.

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Bamboo as backbone of development

Bamboo can be an important vehicle for sustainable and widespread development,  augmenting economic opportunity, income and employment. It offers promise and potential for value addition and incremental income and employment. It is an eco-friendly alternative to many currently used materials. At the same time it is capable of high end and high value products and applications. Bamboo contributes to the soil and environment, giving back as much as it takes. It is a pivotal element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; Bamboo produces 30% of its volume in biomass. Its unique root and rhizome structures act as binders, controlling erosion and rejuvenation soil.

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Bamboo will  definitely bring about a “Green Revolution ” in the society as well as the country. There is enormous growth of the people of the middle class by 2025 and it would be looking different from today. If we can take initiative it will be a mass revolution in the Barak Valley, Assam. But simultaneously we need to care about our nature i.e. plantation of bamboo is more important rather than using, because bamboo is our one of the most important natural resources. We cannot play with our nature. 

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Most fashionable and exquisite jewellery made from bamboo is drawing a lot of  attention these days. Bamboo jewelry can be earrings, hair bands, chips, bracelets,armlets,bangles,finger rings, other fashion accessories.

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Prospects and approach for bamboo sector development in the Barak  Valley 

(i) Promotion of bamboo based industries at cottage level,small scale,medium scale,large scale for utilizing the resources at a sustainable level for generating assured income.

(ii) Promotion of bamboo sector development as an essential component of rural development strategy linked with forestry and agri- business sector in the state/country promoting rural employment.

(iii) Promoting private bamboo plantation as key thrust area for achieving the objectives enshrined in the policy.

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Possibility of forming an association where the artisans will have a share in the profit 

(i) Preserving traditional skills that can be passed on to others in their own community.

(ii) Changing lives by decreasing poverty and supporting artisans livelihoods with fair wages.

(iii) Production practices with no child labour and use if sustainable materials wherever possible.

(iv) Skillfully and carefully made not mass produced.

Ease of setting up a production unit in the Barak Valley 

To support the growth of the economy. If we have the right technology, right raw materials which is existing there, then we can combine with the knowledge and experience and turn into a fantastic platform. We can reach the big middle class and not the affluent few but many people across the country. The unique transparent model is not just limited to the artisan’s profit but also holds good for all the costs involved in the entire supply chain including own margin. 

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Contributed by Jahid Ahmed, Blogger, Expert on bamboo, Cane, Silk, Traditional and Natural Resources, Cachar, Assam.

Jahid is also a member of Team NomadLawyer.