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Kerala Bamboo Fest 2005

Staff Reporter

Thrust to modernise bamboo industry

KOCHI: Minister for Industries V.K. Ebrahim Kunju will inaugurate a three-day Kerala Bamboo Fest 2005, an exhibition and a training programme on bamboo products, at Ernakulam Town Hall on Tuesday.

The event, being organised by the Kerala State Bamboo Mission, with the help of the State Government, marks the launch of what the Industries Department describes as an ambitious plan to modernise the multi-crore bamboo industry in the State.

At a press conference here on Monday, the Minister said the festival was the first step towards infusing new technology in the bamboo sector as well as mechanising it and diversifying the products.

The sector had lagged because of lack of initiatives and diversification and poor technology. There was also severe competition from States in the Northeast as well as West Bengal and Uttaranchal.

Handicraft products, plywood, floor tiles, panels, construction materials, furniture and decorative items would be among the products on show. Besides, eco-types of bamboo and that from States such as Tripura, Assam, Bengal and Uttaranchal would be displayed. There would be 80 stalls for exhibition of products from outside Kerala.

C.P. John, Member of the State Planning Board and Vice-Chairman of the mission, said the State expected the bamboo sector to become a major growth area during the 11th Plan periodHe said modernisation was not just a process of mechanisation but a procedure to overhaul the sector and give it a new thrust and direction. About three lakh people depended on bamboo for their livelihood in the State.

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