The importance of Bamboo as an Eco-friendly raw material capable of meeting multifarious needs of the people at large is gaining global acceptance. From a raw material known as the “ poor man’s timber” bamboo is currently being elevated to the status of “the timber of the 21st century”.
So varied is bamboo’s application that one finds its utilization on a massive scale today in environment protection, as a nutrient food, high-value construction material and also in about 1,500 other listed applications. Experts working in the field of bamboo are of the opinion that the full potential of this raw material still remains to be understood or tapped.
From its all-pervading dominance in the agrarian economies of the East during the middle ages and the subsequent oblivion in the 19th and 20th centuries, bamboo is once again emerging as a much sought after material in the hi-tech world of the 21st century.
It is estimated that about 2.5 billion people use bamboo in one form or the other at the global level. The annual turnover is estimated around US $ 10 billion (Rs.50,000 crores) and this is estimated to shoot up to USD 20 billion by in 2015. Advanced research activities are conducted to utilize bamboo for efficient fuel generating system.
Networks like the International Network for Bamboo and rattan (INBAR) are functioning at the international level. The Govt. of India is a signatory to this network. At the global level, primary processing and product manufacturing is shifting to a highly mechanized mode.