The Bamboo Value Chain: The POWER Project

Industree Foundation’s Producer Owned Women (POWER) Project, with the support of USAID under the W-GDP Initiative, develops enterprises creating biodegradable products with natural materials in three different value chains, including non-timbre forest products (NTFP), banana bark, and bamboo.  The journey into producing bamboo products is a particularly notable achievement for the project and for Industree overall, as it is the first time we have worked in this value chain.

In Karnataka, the National Bamboo Mission and Industree Foundation have partnered to establish a Bamboo Resource Centre in Channapatna to showcase the craftwork of the artisans of the Medhar Tribe.  Focussed on the upliftment of the indigenous Medhar tribe, the Bamboo Resource Centre in Channapatna looks to breathe new life into their 900 year old Bamboo craft, bringing a piece of history to modern homes through the marriage of traditional skill, innovative design, and sustainable business models.

The launch of the centre is a testament to the power that partnership has to overcome challenges. As Neelam Chibber said, “At a time like this, when we are globally trying to deal with a pandemic, it’s heart-warming to see the coming together of forces to support the creative sector, positive climate action and women in particular. USAID’s W-GDP, POWER Initiative has helped us initiate a Bamboo Resource Centre in Channapatna, Karnataka and create a platform for the very skilled bamboo Medhar community to reach global buyers and the growing conscious consumer. These are examples of resilience and sustainability that need to grow and get replicated not only across India, but globally if we are to uplift people from poverty while safeguarding the planet.”

The centre will support over 100 Medhar families in the local areas, providing them with vital income, and social sector safeguards including social security which are particularly important during these turbulent times.  We are so proud of the progress of the POWER project, and are excited for the continued development of our bamboo supply chain.

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