Ethiopia wants India to develop its bamboo industry

March 23rd, 2008 - 10:39 am ICT by admin  

By Nayanima Basu
New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) With its expertise and entrepreneurship, India can help Ethiopia develop that country’s bamboo industry, a visiting Ethiopian official has said. “Ethiopia has huge potential in bamboo cultivation. We are eager to develop this as a small and medium industry for which we want India to come forward and help organise the sector,” said Ahmed Nuru, deputy director, privatisation and public enterprises supervision agency, Ethiopia.

Currently, bamboo plantations cover about one million hectares in Ethiopia. Eighty percent of these is of the lowland variety. Lowland bamboo is used in producing handicraft items while highland bamboo is used in paper mills.

“Bamboo has a huge demand locally due to increasing use in industry and housing. It has application in terms of home furnishing, curtains and decorated items and so on. And these are also environmentally safe,” Nuru told IANS in an interview here.

Bamboo production in Ethiopia constitutes 67 percent of the total in Africa.

“We want to now give our bamboo items an export edge for which we are inviting several countries to come and set up large-scale industries,” Nuru said. Chinese companies have expressed interest in making large-scale investments in Ethiopia’s bamboo industry, he added.

Ethiopia’s main concern is that expansion of agricultural land is eroding its bamboo groves; hence their preservation has become a major issue.

“We need to take urgent and immediate action as the resource has not been attended due to lack of due attention and only large-scale and sustained production can ensure its growth and sustenance,” he said.

Trade between India and Ethiopia stood at $127 million in 2006-07, up from $72.5 million in 2002-03.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |