Bamboo In India
In India 136 species of bamboos in 36 genera are found to exist. The North East India holds the largest stock and diversity of bamboos. Next to the N.E., the Western ghats area has the second largest diversity of bamboos
Though India has the largest area under bamboo which is estimated around 9.6 million hectares, the yield per ha is estimated around 0.4 tonnes, which is very low in comparison to other countries like China, Malaysia, Costa Rica etc.
It is estimated that 8 million bamboo artisans are depended on this craft for their livelihood. The annual turnover of the bamboo sector in India is estimated to be around Rs. 2400 crores. By and large, this is a totally unorganized sector and bamboo has always been considered from the craft point of view and if otherwise for pulp making only.
This craft has been practiced by the North Eastern States for centuries as their prime income source and, in the process, the weaving skills of the artisans had evolved to levels comparable with the craftsperson from more affluent societies like Japan, China etc. though the product diversity still remains undeveloped.