Bamboo is extraordinary environment friendly tree:Experts

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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) Bamboo stands release 35 per cent more oxygen than equivalent stands of other trees and the plant can also lower light intensity besides protecting against ultraviolet rays.

These environment friendly qualities of the tree were highlighted at a three-day international conference on bamboo production and marketing, which began here today with a call to harness the potential of the extraordinary plant.

The conference was inaugurated by Minister of State for Environment and Forests S Reghupathy.

Emphasizing that bamboo production helps environment, Dr Mangala Rai, Secretary, DARE and DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said bamboo is the fatest growing plant on this planet and provides the best canopy for the greening of degraded lands.

''Bamboo is harvested and replenished with no impact to the environment, and it can be selectively harvested annually and is capable of complete regeneration without need to replant, Dr Rai said, adding the tree is an enduring natural resource and provides income, food, and housing to over 2.2 billion people worldwide.'' Dr P K Mishra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, gave details of the progress made by the National Bamboo Mission in the last one year.

The Mission has been successful in promoting bamboo, especially in the North East, and generating employment for skilled and unskilled youth, and it had developed specific strategies for different regions.

It was promoting bamboo related activities like research and development, new bamboo plantations, establishment of nurseries, rejuvenation of old plantations, disease and pest management, bamboo marketing and export, he said.

Dr Mishra also said improved technologies for bamboo production and processing are available in many countries and India can benefit from them.

Dr J Coosje Hoogendoorn, DG, INBAR [International Network on Bamboo, Hoogendoorn expressed concern at the loss of diversity and lack of standardisation and training in bamboo processing at community level.

She gave examples of how bamboo plantation is helping in improving incomes of farmers in many countries including India.

Scientists and experts from 35 countries, farmers, entrepreneurs, NGOs and Central and state government representatives are participating in the conference.

Titled 'Improvement of Bamboo Productivity&Marketing for Sustainable Livelihood', the conference is focussing on improving productivity of bamboo and issues relating to marketing of bamboo products.

UNI NAZ HS AS2028

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