Guwahati, Feb. 22: National and international experts will meet at a workshop in Itanagar to find ways and means to boost the cane sector in the Northeast.
Starting on February 24, the three-day workshop is being organised by Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre, Guwahati, in collaboration with Arunachal Pradesh Forest Development Corporation.
Arunachal Governor J.J. Singh will inaugurate the programme, which is part of the UNIDO-CBTC Phase-II project. It will end on February 26.
In India, canes are mostly found in the Western Ghats, Andaman and the Northeast and out of the 60 species, more than 25 are in the northeastern region alone.
In the Northeast, Arunachal Pradesh has got the highest concentration of canes followed by Assam.
“In spite of having one of the highest concentrations of cane in the world, this sector remains highly underdeveloped and majority of the artisans in the region live in extreme poverty in remote villages. Although some small and medium industries have been developed in urban centres, supply chains linking raw materials from rural areas to urban production centres are inefficient and inadequate,” the director of Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre, Guwahati, Kamesh Salam, said.
Canes have multiple use such as in house articles, furniture and handicrafts. They are preferred because of their durability, toughness, strength, flexibility and elasticity.
Salam said the main objective of organising the workshop is to generate awareness and gather knowledge on modern cane plantation, harvesting, processing, value addition and marketing.
International experts from the Forestry Research Institute, Malaysia and Royal Forest Department, Thailand, will present papers during the workshop and will also share their technical knowledge and expertise.
There will be field visits to Chessa in Arunachal Pradesh and Tezpur in Assam.
An interactive meet will be organised on February 26 in the North Eastern Regional Institute of Water And Land Management campus in Tezpur.
“Moreover, the focus of the workshop will be on technical knowledge on cane with the intent of helping existing and potential industrialists to decide on how to incorporate cane into their production programmes and to provide them with information sources for further analysis,” Salam said.
It is estimated that the Indian cane furniture industry produces goods worth Rs 50 million.
Arunachal Pradesh also supplies cane as a raw material to the Indian furniture industries in south India.