KOCHI: Registrations are picking up for the upcoming Kerala Bamboo Festival 2009. Nearly 40 participants from Kerala and five other States are learnt to have confirmed their participation in the festival.
The festival is being organised jointly by the Department of Industries and Commerce, government of Kerala, in association with the Kerala State Bamboo Mission and the National Bamboo Mission, New Delhi.
The Bamboo Festival is an annual feature now in Kochi during this season. This year’s festival will be the sixth edition of the event and the eagerness shown by the participants is a reflection on the experience they had in the previous festivals. The previous editions of the festival have been successful, inspiring the Kerala State Bamboo Mission to make more elaborate arrangements for the coming event.
Bamboo cultivators, artisans, entrepreneurs, public and private agencies engaged in promoting bamboo and bamboo products and technology providers will participate in the festival.
Two seminars — one on management and another on value addition, are also scheduled as part of the festival. Resource persons from the Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre, Assam, and the National Bamboo Mission for Bamboo Application, New Delhi, will handle the seminars. Experts from the Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, will also be part of the team handling the seminars.
Nearly the entire range of bamboo products will be on show during the festial, scheduled to be inaugurated at 5 p.m. on December 10. The exhibition and programmes will be on till December 13.
According to estimates from the National Bamboo Mission, large-scale bamboo growth has remained confined to forests, with bamboo accounting for 12.8 per cent of the forest cover. About two-thirds of the growing stock is located in the North-Eastern States of the country.
The Kerala government has adopted the cluster model for development of the bamboo industry in Kerala. The example set by ‘Uravu,’ an NGO based in Wayanad, has been an inspiration for developing clusters.
The State Bamboo Mission has also mooted setting up centralised nurseries in the public and private sectors; plantation in forest and non-forest areas; improving the existing stocks; research and development and better market linkage for bamboo products through participation in domestic trade fairs.