KVIC launched Project BOLD to boost tribals’ income & Bamboo based economy in Rajasthan.
Key Highlights of Project BOLD:
- Project BOLD or Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought aims to create bamboo-based green patches of land in arid and semi-arid zones.
- The first of its kind exercise in India, project BOLD was launched on June 4 from the tribal village Nichla Mandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
- Under the project, 5000 saplings of special bamboo species – Bambusa Tulda and Bambusa Polymorpha from Assam were planted on approximately 16 acres of vacant arid Gram Panchayat land. With this, KVIC also created a world record of planting the highest number of bamboo saplings on a single day at one location.
- The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s “Khadi Bamboo Festival” to celebrate 75 years of independence “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
- The project will also be replicated at village Dholera in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and Leh, Ladakh by August this year, under which a total of 15,000 bamboo saplings will be planted before August 21.
Significance of the project
The green patches of bamboo on these 3 places will help in reducing the land degradation percentage of the country, while on the other hand, they will be havens of sustainable development and food security.
Environmental benefits of bamboo
- Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen perennial flowering plants. It belongs to the subfamily of Bambusoideas of the grass family Poaceae.
- In India, bamboo covers 13.96 million hectares of area with 136 species. Some of the important bamboos of commercial importance are Bambusa Tulda, Bambusa Balcooa, Bambusa Cacharensis, etc and can be used for making furniture, handicraft, paper pulp, construction work, etc.
- Bamboos are very fast-growing plants and can be harvested in about three years.
- Bamboos are also known for conserving water and reducing evaporation of water from the land surface, which is an important feature in arid and drought-prone regions.
- Furthermore, bamboos can be used to control pollution by making use of bamboo charcoal, which has absorption properties.
- According to studies (Anon, 2015e), bamboos protects against harmful ultraviolet rays, reduces pollution, reduce up to 35% carbon dioxide in the climate, and deliver more oxygen. Further, bamboo roots also help in controlling erosion as it makes a water barrier. Bamboo also devours high amounts of nitrogen and this helps decrease water pollution
- Bamboos are great sources to reduce land degradation, prevent land desertification, achieve sustainable development and solve food security issues.
- By preventing land desertification, it can further solve associated problems like soil infertility, soil erosion, deforestation.
- Further, bamboo cultivation will also give rise to the restoration of biodiversity and save the extinction of species of animals by providing them habitat.
- It also poses a solution to problems related to famine, mass migration of animals and birds.
- It also solves food security issues as bamboo shoots are also eatable.
Benefits to rural tribal
- It will boost self-employment in the region.
- Such projects will benefit a large number of women and unemployed youths in the region by connecting them to skill development programs.
- Bamboos can be used for multiple economic activities such as for construction purposes, thus saving locals the cost of timber, bricks, and steel.
- Further, it provides livelihood opportunities for locals and tribal men and women in form of handicrafts, making bamboo furniture, culinary items, paper, bags, handbags, textile, household items, to name a few.
Other Initiatives to fight Desertification:
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
- Soil Health Card Scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY).
- National Mission for Green India.
- India has ratified the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
- KVIC is a statutory body formed in April 1957 by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
- It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India.
- Its head office is in Mumbai, whereas its six zonal offices are in Delhi, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati.
- The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programs for the development of Khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
The broad objectives that the KVIC has set before it are:
- The social objective of providing employment.
- The economic objective of producing saleable articles.
- The wider objective of creating self-reliance amongst the poor and building up of a strong rural community spirit.