Bamboo as a green gold bioresource of Manipur Dr N Irabanta Singh & Aeroshil Nameirakpam

Dr N Irabanta Singh & Aeroshil Nameirakpam
Bamboo is also known as “Green gold” in the Asian culture. It is also a symbol of friendship in India. Besides the uses of bamboo in our day to day life and the business, the bamboo products can generate an enormous amount and has tremendous prospective, more especially in the North Eastern Region (NER) of India. North East India accounts for 66% of the bamboo growth in India and as per assessment of united Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the bamboo business in the North East India region has a potential of about Rs. 5000 crores in the next ten years.
Data presentation: World bamboo day (18th September) is a day of celebration to increase the awareness of bamboo globally. The first world bamboo day was celebrated in September 18, 2009 at Prachan Buri, Thailand during the world bamboo congress at Bangkok, Thailand. Since then, world bamboo day is being celebrated every year on 18th September. The 10th world bamboo Day celebration (18th September, 2018) was started at Singjamei community hall, Imphal (Manipur) with the speaker, Manipur State Legislative Assembly as Chief Guest. The Chief guest stated that bamboos are capable of multiplying its production within 3/4 years of growth cycle as compared to other trees which takes almost 40-50 years. He said that China is planning to substitute 50 percent of all home-made materials like tiles and ceilings with bamboos by 2020.
Director, National bamboo mission (Manipur chapter) stated that the climate and landscape of Manipur is suitable for growing bamboo and the Government is ready to provide the required technical support, capacity building, skill development and financial assistance for more production and in turn to boost states economy.
Earlier, a rally was also undertaken by the organizers from Kangla to Singjamei as a part of the event. Different bamboo products like bicycle, furniture, electronic goods and other byproducts made from bamboos by local entrepreneurs were exhibited during the function.
Bamboo symposium / lectures by experts from the NE India and painting competition by the school children were held on September 19th and 23, 2018 respectively. A newsletter on bamboo was also released on the opening day (18th September, 2018) by the Chief Guest.
Bamboo of Manipur: There are 51 species of bamboos in Manipur (Table 1) (ENVIS Centre, Manipur, 2015). Out of these Waak (Arundinaria racemosa Munro.), Saneibi (Bambusa tulda Roxb.), Maribob (Dendrocalamus giganteus Munro.); Moubewaa (Melocanna bambusoides Trins), etc. are popular bamboo species in Manipur. The most popular bamboo species are Waak (A. racemosa Munro) for a variety of uses, and Saneibi (B. tulda Roxb.) for building construction.
Table 1: Bamboo Species of Manipur
Sl. No    Scientific Name    Local Name
1     Arundinaria callosa Munro.    (Laiwa)Shoidon
2     Arundinaria clarkei     Wa
3     Arundinaria debilis Thawaites     
4     Arundinaria falconeri Benth. & Hook     
5     Arundinaria kurzii     Tenwa manbi
6     Arundinaria prainii Gamble     
7     Arundinaria racemosa Munro    Waak
8     Arundinaria rolloana Gamble    Tenwa
9     Bambusa sps 1     (Mritega)
10     Bambusa auriculata Kurz.     
11     Bambusa balcoona Roxb.    Leewa or pulka
12     Bambusa binghami Gamble    Wayeng
13     Bambusa burmanica Gamble     
14     Bambusa khasiana Munro.     
15     Bambusa kingiana Gamble    Watangkhoi
16     Bambusa nana Roxb    Khokwa
17     Bambusa natans Wall    Utang
18     Bambusa oliveriana Gamble    Warak
19     Bambusa pallida Munro    Moirangwa
20     Bambusa polymorpha     Nachiwa
21     Bambusa schzostachyoides Kurz    Waa-pharak
22     Bambusa sps 2     (Wootang manbi)
23     Bambusa tulda Roxb.    Saneibi
24     Bambusa vulgaris Schrad.    Lam Sanebi/Jai-baruwa
25     Cephalostachyum capitatum Munro     
26     Cephalostachyum fuschisnum      
27     Cephalostachyum latifolium Munro    Yotcheiwa
28     Cephalostachyum pallidum Munro     
29     Cephalostachyum pergracile Munro    Pongshang
30     Dendrocalamus brandisii . Kurz    Wamu
31     Dendrocalamus flagellifer Munro    Longwa
32     Dendrocalamus giganteus Munro    Maribob
33     Dendrocalamus hamiltonii . Nees & Arn    Unap/Wanap/Retcha
34     Dendrocalamus hookere     Unap
35     Dendrocalamus longifimbriatus Bamble    Woonan
36     Dendrocalamus longispathus Kurz.    Chingwa/Unap-manbi
37     Dendrocalamus membranaceus Munro    Unan khongdangbi
38     Dendrocalamus sericeus Munro    Ooei
39     Dendrocalamus sps 2     Uriwa
40     Dendrocalamus sps1     Wamitchao
41     Dendrocalamus strictus Nees    unan
42     Gigantocloa macrostachya     Gonan(Kuki)
43     Melocalamus indicus . Manjumdar. R    Umu
44     Melocanna bambusoides . Trins    Moubiwaa
45     Oxytenanthera abaciliata     Gotang(kuki)
46     Phylloatachys bambusoides     Wamanh(kuki)
47     Pseudostachyum polymorphum Munro    Talak wa
48     Teinostachyum dullooa Gamble    Tolluwaa/Dullo
49     Teinostachyum sp.     Bashiwaa
50     Teinostachyum wightii Beddome    Naat
51     Thyrsostachys oliveri Gamble    Kabo waa/Keirak waa
Discussion: The employment potential of bamboo is very high, and the major work force constitutes of the rural poor, especially women and 432 workdays per annum are provided by the bamboo sector in India. Rapid increase in the demand of bamboo in the industrial sector coupled with increase in domestic demand due to rising populations have caused depletion of the natural bamboo resources which calls for concerted efforts for the awareness to raise bamboo plantations in land hitherto barren degraded or in association with agricultural crops (Bamboo Informag, April 2014).
With the trend of decrease in production and rise in human population, the gap between supply and demand is going to be larger stressed that in India than demand for bamboo planting stocks are 90-120 million per annum, which is expected to increase to upto 300 million seedlings per annum. Large scale cultivation is the only way to prevent further depletion of bamboo resource, and to ensure a regular and sustained supply of raw material for growing industrial uses. This situation elucidates the needs for increase in bamboo plantation under various programmes has not been paid so for. Now farmers and villagers need to be involved in bamboo cultivation / production. Apart from protecting natural vegetation of bamboos, the activity has to be brought to the non-forest lands (Bamboo Informag April, 2014).
Summary: There is a low awareness regarding the potential of bamboo and associated products among users and even other stakeholders including the government. The locals in the region use it for everyday uses, but they are not aware of the economical, commercial and industrial applications of bamboo. Thus, we need awareness creation of bamboo and its connection with the poor stakeholders as a green gold bioresource of Manipur.
The First Writer is Retd. Professor (HAG) , Life Sciences, Manipur University and co-founder of Nibiaa Consultancy Pvt.Ltd and the second writer is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Nibiaa Consultancy Pvt.Ltd. Singjamei, Imphal – 795 008, Manipur