Variety

Hyderabad unit to make eco-friendly building materials

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on April 23, 2019

India is world’s second largest cultivator of bamboo, which is spread over 13.96 million hectares   -  istockphoto

A research centre in Hyderabad, the first in South India, will tap the multi-purpose bamboo, which has a wide range of applications from household products to eco-friendly building materials.

The ₹30-crore centre, funded by corporates and the Union Government, will be established in the campus of the National Institute of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (NIMSME), Hyderabad.

The centre will also have research labs, testing facilities and other facilities to get funding and for market linkages. It will draw support from the National Bamboo Mission under the Ministry of Agriculture, said Sanjeev Chaturvedi, Director of the over 50-year-old NIMSME.

Simple product

Launched a few decades ago, the Bamboo Mission has made progress in bringing bamboo from the forests of the North-East States into the commercial space.

One focus will be on developing eco-friendly alternatives using bamboo. A simple product will be a bamboo straw to replace the plastic version. The priority will be to sign agreements with those corporates that are keen to replace plastics, he told BusinessLine.

The Institute will allocate land, provide manpower and management support. Funding is expected from Ministries and corporates. Telangana State has already promised seed support through its mission programme. The centre should be fully functional in five years, said the Director.

Active mission

India is world’s second largest cultivator of bamboo, after China with 136 species and 23 genera spread over 13.96 million hectares. Realising the need to exploit the potential of the crop, the Union Government formulated and launched the National Bamboo Mission in 2006.

The mission is being implemented on non-forest government land as also on farmers field in States where it has social, commercial and economical advantage.

In the past decade 17 States have been covered under the Mission and ₹111.05 crore has been released till the end of 2018 based on the annual action plans. Eighty-eight bamboo treatment units, 464 product development/processing units, 135 infrastructure projects for promotion and development of bamboo markets, and an area of 15,740 ha for plantation have been approved.

Published on April 22, 2019

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