Ever wondered about catalyzing Bamboo, Green Gold to create versatile products and sustaining the environment? The narrative across the globe is calling for a positive shift towards People, Planet and Prosperity. Investments into nature-friendly value chains offer opportunities to adopt sustainability through environment-friendly business practices, promote responsible production and consumption while striving to improve the lives and livelihoods of communities. Bamboo is one such value chain which the Industree Foundation is leveraging with an idea to promote minimal waste, maximum sustainability and lower carbon footprint.
India is the second largest grower of bamboo and has a rich bamboo genetic resource availability with over 130 species, according to National Consultation on Opportunities and Challenges for Bamboo in India 2021. The World Bamboo Day (WBD) highlights and raises awareness about the potential of bamboo plants, and speaks about the sustainable use of bamboo. The 2022 Theme for World Bamboo Day: It is time to grow bamboo rightly synchronizes with the idea that we need to collectively pace our efforts to catalyze the ‘Green Gold’ in order to reap the benefits.
Currently, the market for sustainable and eco-friendly goods is growing and global customers are interested in the purchase of ethically made products which are good for the planet. Bamboo is the ideal fit from an environmental sustainability standpoint, and India hosts the second-largest raw material resource in the world, after China. In states like Karnataka, bamboo weaving for utility products has been practiced by communities like the Medhars for an extensive period of time.
Industree Foundation is working to enable an ecosystem to facilitate socio-economic opportunities and build sustainable livelihoods for women, youth and farmers in Karnataka. The work across bamboo is focused towards achieving economic impact through regular work, increased wages and financial stability for producers, environmental impact that focuses on natural fibre and organic raw material value chains, building new circular economies and potential alternatives to plastics. To add, the social impact results in improved agency and voice for women at home and in their communities.
Industree is also working closely with the National Bamboo Mission, Karnataka Chapter; College of Forestry; University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shimoga; Development Commissioner-Handicrafts. Industree has mobilized over 1200 farmers in the districts of Shivamogga, Chikmagalur and Hassan to promote sustainable cultivation of bamboo. These 1200 farmers are collectivized into 5 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) across the districts in Karnataka, engaged in the cultivation, harvest and marketing of bamboo as well as integrating the bamboo plantation through intercropping with medicinal plants, aromatic plants, herbs etc. and its value addition. 300 hectares of land brought under bamboo plantation. These farmers are supported with quality planting material, supported by the College of Forestry, Ponnampet under the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS).
Working across the Bamboo value chain has a great potential to herald in supply chains of the future, having both positive social and environmental footprints. World Bamboo Organization aims to bring the potential of bamboo to a more elevated exposure – to protect natural resources and the environment, to ensure sustainable utilization, to promote new cultivation of bamboo for new industries in regions around the world, as well as promote traditional uses locally for community economic development.
Investing in Bamboo is poised to facilitate ‘Sustainability’ at scale and support a better green future for all.