IMPHAL, October 22: The First International Bamboo Conference cum Workshop was inaugurated today at the auditorium hall of the Oriental College (Autonomous), Takyel today.
Delivering the speech at the inaugural function, Commerce and Industries minister Govindas Konthoujam said 1/3rd of Manipur is covered by bamboo plant.
Japan, he said, has expressed interest in buying bamboo shoot from Manipur and the government will look forward to satisfying this interest.
He said bamboo can also be used for handicrafts and the finished products can be exported outside.
If the craftsmen are able to produce items in large numbers, they can supply even the international market, he observed.
And as such, the State government has keen interest in the promotion of bamboo and bamboo products, he said.
He continued the State has much potential in bamboo and its products.
Speaking in the function, Social Welfare and Cooperation minister Ak Mirabai Devi said that bamboo is associated with the people of Manipur starting from birth till death.
Urbanisation has forced us to depend on other material, but we have now come to know that bamboo has many roles, she said.
She added that experts are of the opinion that the dangers posed by climate change can be control by a global propagation of bamboo.
Manipur is globally known for its field of games and sports as well as handloom and handicraft which have their origin out of a skilful use of bamboo, she said.
Some decades back most of the items of daily use on the State were made out of bamboo. Looking through this matter, a close revival of these items is needed and through mass production, these items made from bamboo can be made available cheaply, she added.
The minister also said bamboo plays an important role in providing lots of food items mainly `Soibum or fermented bamboo shoot` which is a local delicacy and if efforts are channelled into it, it can be a base for industry in the State, she added.
Unemployed youths of Manipur can employ themselves profitably if they are able to exploit the latent potentialities of bamboo, she said.
The responsibility of turning Manipur into a bamboo manufacturing hub lies with the people of our state and the State Government has the potential of creating Bamboo tourism, she added.
The function was attended many foreign delegate. Around 60 stalls of different varieties will be showcase; however, in today`™s inaugural function around ten stalls opened.
Chairmen governing body of Oriental College, Prof H Tombi Singh also attended the function as guest of honour.
The conference cum workshop on bamboo is being organised by the Oriental College (Autonomous), Salai Holding Pvt. Ltd in association with Bamboo Forum of India Dev Bamboo Industry & CREDO.
It will continue till October 26.