KATHMANDU: A group of stakeholders working to promote bamboo enterprises in Nepal have stressed on the need of expediting collaborative efforts so that green employment could be generated by engaging local communities to restore bamboo farming in abandoned land.
In a conclusion that individual efforts made to promote bamboo industry may not achieve expected outcome and are unlikely to maximize benefits, various stakeholders involved in green business ranging from bamboo farming to marketing suggested joint efforts in the days ahead. They proposed establishing a nationwide network by involving farmers, local governments, entrepreneurs and policy makers.
In early 2000, Non-Residential Nepalis had tried to establish a bamboo industry in Hetauda. Several other individuals, non-governmental organizations and community forests have also been involved in the bamboo business. Their efforts, however, haven’t yielded expected outcomes. Stakeholders are now pushing for collective efforts to benefit from the bamboo industry.
“Let’s initiate a national campaign for bamboo restoration,” said Ganesh Sah, former environment minister, adding, “Monkeys are destroying crops in many areas. We have hundreds of hectares of unused land. So, let’s plant bamboo in abandoned land and promote green economy in a coordinated manner.”
Mr. Shah suggested involving local governments to the private sector, local community forest users’ group and handicraft entrepreneurs to promote bamboo farming and sustainable bamboo farming in the long run.
The national dialogue was organized by the Green Foundation Nepal wherein representatives from FECOFUN, Green Bamboo Creation, Akasha Academy, KAFCOL, AFFON and Fair-Trade Group Nepal among others were present. At the function, Pramod Dangal, Project Manager of Green Bamboo Creation, explained efforts made for promoting the bamboo industry in the past and possible ways to move on for bamboo restoration.
“Collaborative efforts are needed to promote bamboo business,” said Parbata Gautam, general secretary of Federation of Community Forest Users’ Nepal (FECOFUN), adding, “Mere use of traditional products such as doko and namlo is not enough in the changed context. For business, bamboo products should be produced as per changed lifestyles.”
The participants have agreed to organize a national conference on bamboo business by inviting all stakeholders and exhibit bamboo products at the earliest aimed at promoting prospects of bamboo business.
Hoping to earn green money from bamboo restoration, Tulsipur Sub-metropolitan City has pledged to plant 2,000 bamboo saplings this year, Dhulikhel Municipality has a plan to develop a whole entire ward as a bamboo village.
Ghanshyam Pandey, chairman of GFN, said Nepal needs to promote bamboo farming and enterprises in the context of two of its giant neighbors—India and China– already earning billions of dollars from bamboo widely known as ‘green gold.”
“Bamboo increased about $5 billion in income. I see huge business scope in bamboo farming,” said Pandey, “Being a mountainous country and situated between key bamboo producing countries India and China Nepal’s bamboo has more aesthetic value. So, it can significantly contribute to our green economy.”