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NMBA supported activities in the bamboo sector

Tripura is called the ‘home’ of bamboo. The wonder plant is intimately interwoven in the socio-cultural fabric of the State. Bamboo based economic activities are an intrinsic part of life; the importance of the resource in the State's predominantly agrarian economy is well recognised. Bamboo finds many uses, and is a major source of income and employment as well. It is estimated that 2.46 lakh families in the State are engaged in bamboo related vocations.

Species of bamboo found in Tripura:
Bamboo grows all across the state of Tripura covering over nearly 10 to 15 different species.  They are Barak (Bambusa balcooa), Bari (Bambusa polymorpha), Mritinga (Bambusa tulda), Muli (Melocanna baccifera), Kali (Bambusa nutans),Paora (Bambusa teres), Rupai (Dendrocalamus longispathus), Dolu (Schizostachyum dullooa), Makal (Bambusa pallida),  Pecha (Dendrocalamus hamiltonii), Kailyai (Gigantochloa rostrata), Kanak kaich (Bambusa affinis), Lanthi bans (Dendrocalamus strictus), Tetua (Bambusa spp.), Ish (Bambusa spp.), Jai (Bambusa spp.), Bombash (Bambusa spp.), Sairil/Wadu bamboo (Melocalamus compactiflorus), Bosai (Bambusa spp.).

Area under bamboo forests
Area in the State under bamboo forests is 2397 sq. km (as per SFAP). Though considerable bamboo exists under farm sector and on homesteads, no authentic data exists about its extent. In the farm and homestead segments, the bamboo cultivated is predominantly
Bari, Barak and Muli.

Growing Stock of bamboo

Clump Forming Bamboo

Non-Clump Forming Bamboo

Average per hectare
State total

37.093 million

94.931 Kg
59415.985 M.T.

665.920 million

1255.08 Kg
789695.77 M.T.

Barak Thyrsostachys oliveri   X   X
Bom Bambusa balcooa       X
Mal/Makhla Bambusa cacharensis   X X X
Paura Bambusa pallida X X X  
Mirtinga Bambusa polymorpha   X    
Bari/Jai Bambusa tulda   X X  
Rupai Bambusa vulgaris   X   X
Lathi Baans Dendrocalamus longispathus   X X X
Muli Dendrocalamus strictus   X   X

Melocanna baccifera

X   X  

Utilisation of bamboo in the State

  1. In Tripura, bamboo is utilised for:
    Rural Housing: posts, walls, roof structure, roofing material, scaffolding, fencing and gates (Bari, Barak, Muli, Makal)
  2. Agricultural implements, baskets, food grain containers rain shields, head gear and other functional products
  3. Edible shoots for food, partcularly amongst tribal communities
  4. Handicraft items: toys, ‘morra’, winnowing trays, handfans, mats (Muli, Paora and Mritinga), wall panels, screens (Mritinga, makal), umbrella handles (Muli), fishing rods (Kanak kaich), agarbatti sticks (Paora, Dolu, Barak)
  5. Supply of raw material to the Panchgram paper mill

Tripura Bamboo Policy:

To realize the economic, social and environmental potential of the bamboo resource of Tripura, develop in into one of major economic sectors of the State, and provide employment and income generating activities for the tribals and rural poor.  This vision will be implemented on a sustainable economic development basis so that market and ownership systems not only halt the process of further degradation of bamboo resources, but lead to an increase in the quantity and quality of bamboo resources, to meet the present and prospective requirements of bamboo users including the environmental needs of the State.
1. Goals and Objectives
The main goals of the policy which stem from the vision are:
Development and implementation of a sustainable community based production model with concomitant benefits for forest conservation Development and implementation of an economic development programme using bamboo for spurring industrial development Enhancing employment and income generating opportunities for tribals and rural poor using bamboo as the prime resource.  The basis targeted objectives that would govern the State.
2. Bamboo Policy is as follows

• Scientific assessment of the plantation inventory by species to assess the effort involved.  Conserving the bio-diversity of resource base.  Enhancing the productivity and production base of the resource to meet the expected increase in demand up to a 10% annual increase of the sustainable yield from the year 2001 level.
• Enabling training, tools and other mechanical productivity enhancers, consolidation, distribution and marketing channels.  Developing value addition in handicraft through improved processing, product diversification, design development and enhanced shelf life, to produce quality products at par with intrnatinal standards and to increase the trade in home and export market by 100% in next 5 (five) years.
• Establishing bamboo industrial products as an economic and successful new industrial sub-sector.  This includes Boards (BMBs), Bamboo laminates, Bamboo ply, Bamboo flooring and Bamboo shoot processing, among others, to be identified by the INBAR-Tripura Bamboo Mission.  Smaller industries for production of chopsticks, agarbattis and baskets would be promoted at the community level.
• Developing the necessary market mechanism with support towards promotion and marketing of finished products.  Popularizing bamboo as a cost effective and earthquake resistant building material for housing in the State, which lies in one of the high seismic zones of the country.
• Arranging financial resources as may be necessary to achieve the above objectives.  Setting up of monitoring facilities and systems for fine tuning the devised plans and ensuring their effectiveness.


The Tripura Bamboo Mission is Initiative of the Government of Tripura to develop the bamboo sector in the state in a holistic manner. The mission aims to double livelihood involvement and the sector turnover in a span of three years. It aims to optimize the end-to-end value chain spanning from plantation & resource generation to marketing of value added finished products. The mission has a sub sector specific focus that includes handicrafts, furniture, incense, sticks & blinds, mat and industrial application of bamboo. The project is being implemented by IL&FS CDI based on a Public Private Partnership Framework.


• Scale up the turnover of the local bamboo sector from Rs.27.90crore to Rs.75.85crore within the 3 years project duration.
• Double livelihood involvement in the Bamboo sector in the state


• Build sustainable bamboo based livelihoods based on a cluster based approach.
• Develop an institutional structure owned and managed by grassroots producers & their federations.
• Build their enterprises based on commercially sustainable business models.
• Provide infrastructure, skill training, design support and direct market linkages.
• Mobilize private investment in the bamboo sector in areas like bamboo composites, mechanized sticks and other industrial products.
• Promote plantation in non-forest areas, private land holdings and homestead plantations


A wholly owned subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) . IL&FS CDI Ltd has been set up to provide commercially sustainable integrated solutions for development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), through a cluster based and a PPP approach that would enable them to become globally competitive.
IL&FS CDI implements pioneering sustainable livelihood models for the rural poor located in remote areas and dispersed across a scattered production base. The focus is on an integrated approach to strategically linking mainstream markets, building grassroots institution through effective organization & integration, providing access to information, technology, skills, credit, infrastructure & social security and forging strong linkages with multiple stakeholders. For more information: www.ilfsindia.com




Tripura produces 45,000 MT of bamboo sticks per annum. Under the TBM, 10% of the sticks produced (2000 MT) will be rolled into raw incense every year. This would result in additional employment generation of over 8000 women home based workers and an increase in per capita income from present levels of Rs 15 per day to Rs 36  per day. Mats are woven all across the state especially by the tribal population. They have varied application in the bamboo mat boards and laminates industry. The TBM strategy is to have an integrated development of the mat sector through mobilizing private investment and linking them to mat supply sources in rural areas. Mechanized sticks are used for production of Venetian blinds, home utility items and premium incense sticks. There is a growing market potential for stick based lifestyle products. This presents an opportunity for development of a statewide production capacity in mechanized sticks by mobilizing private investments in local enterprise




Tripura has the largest skill base of bamboo based handicraft artisans in the country. The sector currently lacks economy of scale in production and access to technology for achieving quality standards. TBM is engaged in the integrated development of the specific craft clusters. The strategy includes providing direct market linkage through the e-portal, induction of technology, provisioning of infrastructure, training and design inputs. Bamboo furniture has a universal appeal by virtue of its eco-friendly attributes and contemporary look and feel. It has a high market potential especially in the straight line furniture for contemporary home, outdoor and resort furniture segments. Tripura has the special round pole variety of bamboo (kanakaich) that is most suited for furniture making. Specialized design inputs, technology for bamboo processing, manufacturing and finishing is provided by TBM. TBM Strategy on resource generation focuses on planting bamboo species amenable to high value products. Incremental plantations in private areas and homestead plantations are encouraged under the mission. The focus is also on generation of planting material through VPC (Vegetative Propagation Center) and introduction of tissue culture.








T B M   C L U S T E R S

TBM Cluster development programme is based on the principle of “Collaborating while competing”. A cluster is a geographical concentration of units producing similar products and facing similar challenges and opportunities. The cluster-based approach is market driven, inclusive, and collaborative. It offers critical mass for customization of interventions, enables economies of scale in operation, cheaper access to inputs & raw materials, better access to information & technology and direct reach to customers & channels.
The list of TBM supported clusters are:

S. No. Name of Cluster
1 Amarpur
2 Baikhura
3 Charilam
4 Nalchar
5 Katlamara
6 Panisagar
7 Jogendranagar
8 Mohanpur
9 Agartala
10 Kamalpur
11 Salema
12 Jirania
13 Shankhela
14 Ganganagar
15 Gandacherra

Activities supported by NMBA:

• A project for five Aganwadi  Centres in South Tripura District, Trpura each of size 28’x20’ incl. 4’ ver. has been completed with state govt. share of Rs. 7.5 lakhs
• Demonstrative activity completed for clustered rural housing structures (NBIRT/ HUDCO Building Centre: Arkaneer), with mat  based roofing (RV-TIFAC, Bangalore), on the Indira Awas Yojana pattern at Hrsishidas Colony and Rabidas Colony, Pratpagarh, Agartala, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Tripura.  In addition, innovative bamboo structures have been erected, and a double storied demonstration house at Sekerkote in Tripura.
• Vacuum processing bamboo shoot processing facility has been established in collaboration with Tripura Bamboo Mission, NMBA has approved (June 2007) a project, to be implemented through the Tripura Bamboo Mission (TBM), by a local fodd processing unit (M/s Pijush Agro Tech Food Products, Agartala), for a bamboo shoot vacuum packaging facility, to process upto 2 tonnes of raw shoot per day, for at least 75 days in the year; he can use the equipment for other horticultural/ vegetable produce during the rest of the year.   NMBA has supported installation of vacuum packing machine etc. which has now been implemented and is operational.
• Training workshop and demonstration carried out at Teliamura, Tripura (in conjunction with ILFS), with 40 participants on 18 July 2006.  Equipment handed over after  demonstration to SHGs (Chandrasadhupura JFMC, Rangtilla JFMC and Lokuhantrai JFMC). Shoot processing activity has since commenced by these JFMCs.
• Implementation of 25 Kwe (35 Kg/hour capacity) Gasifier has been installed at Don Bosco Society, Bishramganj, Tripura in demonstrative mode. This is a residential school and the gasifier is operational, providing electricity to the whole school and also to the works where stick making machines have been installed.
• 4 gasifiers (25 Kwe each) are being placed in Tripura, in conjunction with ILFS.
  • Two locations are rubber producing and rocessing societies (Rangmala & Laxmandhepa), one location for residential school (Bishramganj), and one at CFC, Katlamara.  NMBA to bear cost of system (each at Rs.16.3 lakhs plus taxes) and technical fees of IISc of Rs.4 lakhs. User agencies to support civil work, transportation, travel, erection & commissioning and distribution network/ change over. Implementation charges @12.5% of equipment cost to be paid to IL&FS.
  • All the four gasifiers have been installed commissioned and are operational.
• Mobile gasifier being developed at IISc Bangalore for training and demonstrative purposes to be placed with the Tripura State Bamboo Mission.
• PS Green Gold is an existing firm based in North Tripura produsing sticks and mats. NMBA has supported expansion scheme of the firm which is under implementation. Expanded capacity of the unit will be 150 TPA of sticks of different size. Total cost of project is Rs.28.50 lakhs, out of which NMBA contribution would be Rs.19.00 lakhs. Machinery and equipments have been installed and the unit is operational.
• Project for manufacture of sticks and charcoal supported by NMBA which is under implementation. Total installed capacity of the unit would be 300 TPA of round sticks of different sizes, 600 TPA of pulverized bamboo dust and 150 TPA of charcoal . Total cost of the project is 104.00 lakhs, out of which NMBA contribution is Rs.62.00 lakhs. Machinery and equipments have been installed and the unit is operational.
• Stick and charcoal making facility has been implemented at St Xavier’s. TDA from NMBA has been fully released.
• 30 day mat weaving training successfully carried out at South 24-Parganas, West Bengal from 08 September to 05, October, 2005, with 2 weaving experts from Tripura for 30 trainees in collaboration with AB Composites.
  • It is hoped that fine and tightly structured mat weaving would be taken up in South 24-Parganas, for which there is a ready market at the mat composite making unit located there. At present mats are being sourced from North Bengal (loosely woven, low quality), and from the North East.
  • Market linked training for incense stick rolling has been organized, in collaboration with Tripura Bamboo Mission, in December-January, 2007 in five villages of Tripura for 150 selected families, mainly women. This has led to regular production of rolled incense sticks of 15 tones per month, which is being marketed to ITC and Cycle brand. The market linked training/skill development initiative has led to incremental increase in income of each family by Rs.25-30 per day.
• Bamboo processing & treatment plant being considered at Katlamara village, West Tripura district in Tripura, in collaboration with NID/ DCH supported society of artisans (BENU)
  • Bamboo Enterprise United (BENU) is a registered Society of Self Help groups in Katlamara, Tripura (copy of registration certificate at Flag-B). BENU owns more than 40 acres of managed plantation of kanak-kaich (Thryostachhys oliverii), for which it has applied for FSC certification and farming practices have been inspected, ratified and process completed by the Certification Agency. Presently Bamboo Enterprise United (BENU) is engaged in production of whole bamboo as well as strip bamboo furniture and utility items such as trays, hangers and bamboo based woven products. Presently BENU is treating bamboo, used in furniture and utility items, by boiling with boric borax solution, which, for whole bamboo: is time taking, does not ensure uniform and required level of preservative intake, and thereby requires another coat of anti-termite insecticide before finishing coat applied.
  • With support from the NMBA, a treatment facility is being established at BENU to carry out chemical treatment of required preservative intake (at 5 kg/cm2 of pressure) as well as drying and carbonizing of bamboo in a single vessel. This is expected to increase the production capacity of the unit by about three fold from its existing level of production of about 150 pieces of furniture/month.
  • Trial running of treatment facility in manufacturing unit (M/s Manakasia Limited), Kolkata has been confirmed and facility is being transported at BENU site in Tripura for commissioning and trial production by the end of November.
• Plantation of Dendrocalamus asper being established at Tripura (20 hectares, 10 hectares each at Udaipur and Bagafa) taken up with State Forest Department for edible shoot production.
  • Site preparation activities completed, and initial batch of plant material (3,000 plants) dispatched in February 2005. Severe mortality, with 550 seedlings survived. Second batch of 2,000 plants sent in July 2005, with much lower mortality of 15%. The survived seedlings will be planted in the field after establishing in the poly-bags and attaining a plantable height.
  • Since the tissue cultured plants of Dendrocalamus asper to be sent by TERI, New Delhi to Tripura, could not attain the required size of 18”, the dispatch of 10,000 plants has been deferred to the next planting season. TERI has reported (April 2006) that the plants are still small and are likely to attain a dispatchable height only by July. The plant material has not been sent till December, 2006.

The project is being scaled down to 10 ha, with plant material supply to be ensured from HPC/Growmore during planting season of March-April, 2007.
  • Development of maturity marking systems for intensive cultivation of bamboo – colour band system developed with Government of Tripura, reviewed by sectoral specialists. Since disseminated, also published by the Mission in the form of an Info-Sheet, and recommended for adoption by cultivators and Government agencies.
  • Demonstrated high end prefab of size 32’x20’ structure incl 4’ ver and toilet block of size 8’*4’at BAMFEST 2006 which later erected at TBM premises for demonstration.
























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