Activities in the bamboo sector supported by NMBA

• Hands on demonstrations, based on a training module using low cost equipment costing not more than Rs. 28,000 and simple technology, producing up to 100 Kg of processed shoot on a daily basis; shoots are packed in flexible nylon based pouches with no preservatives; the process provides shelf life ranging from 7 days (in fresh water) and 21 days (in brine) carried out at Agartala (2004). The second training workshop and demonstration took place in Agartala (June 2006) in collaboration with ILFS

• Plantation of Dendrocalamus asper being established at Tripura (20 hectares, 10 hectares each at Udaipur and Bagafa) taken up with the Forest Department for edible shoot production.

• Multi-locational trials of tissue cultured bamboo taken up.

• Bamboo processing & treatment plant being taken up at Katlamara village, West Tripura district in Tripura, in collaboration with a society of artisans (BENU). The Society has been trained in manufacture of a range of knocked down bamboo furniture, designs of which were prepared by NID personnel, using Bambusa affinis, cultivated locally by farmer members of the society. The products have received a good response in domestic and international markets. The production capacity is about 150 pieces of furniture per month. The project will enhance the production capacity and improve the quality.

• Development of thin sliver mechanised equipment capable of producing 6 -9 mm slivers carried out to support mat making activities and the craft sector. Thin sliver machines are being inducted for field testing at a mat making centre established by the Forest Development Agency, Government of Tripura at Killa, in South Tripura.

• Round stick making equipment has been developed and prototyped, and inducted for trials (4 sets) in Tripura with ILFS. The equipment is sturdy and low cost, and does not require power to be operated. The equipment has been received well – two minor modifications are being carried out as a precursor to a larger pilot induction.

• Demonstrative activity completed for clustered rural housing structures (NBIRT/ HUDCO Building Centre: Arkaneer), with mat-fibre glass roofing (RV-TIFAC, Bangalore), on the Indira Awas Yojana pattern at Hrsishidas Colony and Rabidas Colony, Pratpagarh, Agartala, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Tripura. In addition, innovative bamboo structures have been erected, and a double storied demonstration house at Sekerkote.

• Diagnostic study-cum-project development exercise carried out by ILFS on behalf of Government of Tripura (GOT) and NMBA. GOT requested NMBA support to launch the Tripura Bamboo Development Mission, with the objective of development of bamboo sector through a comprehensive, time bound and target oriented policy. GOT and NMBA tasked the Cluster Development Initiative (CDI) of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services to carry out this study.