Limitation of bamboo Handicraft Industry
23rd March – 2018
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FASHION TECHNOLOGY Dharmsala, Mangattuparamba, Kannur – 670562, India
LIMITATION OF BAMBOO HANDICRAFT INDUSTRY
Amarjyoti MohapatraM.Des, 2018 Kannur
National Institute of Fashion Technology
Bamboos, which are most beautiful and useful plants of the world, are also considered as the poor man’s timber, if we will look at the properties of bamboos, these are the fastest growing and early maturing in nature, but due to the lack of proper management of bamboo resources it is leading towards rapid reduction of existing bamboosetum. Although India is one of the largest reserve of bamboos due to the lack of technology and skills interventions in craft sector we didn’t get any remarkable achievement till now. Also because of lack of wages artisans are not interested to continue their profession and deviating towards other sectors. The main of this paper is to investigate different limitations of bamboo and discuss what can be done in order to overcome this problem.
Key words: limitation, flowering of bamboo, value addition, technology intervention, bamboo craft, industrialization, wage capital
India is known as the second largest reserve of bamboo population in world. Here the fibers of bamboos are normally associated with paper and pulp industries where the culms several other uses as in craft industries. In India there is the demand of 5 million tonnes of bamboo has been estimated out of which about 3-5 million tonnes are required by the paper and pulp industry alone.
The bamboo industry has immense economic potential of labour surplus, so it plays a vital role in south Indian economy in terms of traditional and nontraditional sectors. In south India, people are using bamboos in different ways for having benefits of domestic, agricultural and commercial sectors and also it has the cultural linkage with the bamboo dependent prospects.
The artisans belonging to the bamboo industry are usually making products out of bamboo for their sustenance and they follow the traditional way of making things, skills, tools and work experience. Their way of bamboo based production is mainly involved with the four stage of procurement, processing, production and marketing. For raw material sourcing they are depending on mainly natural areas/forests depots, private depots, local market and home gardens. There is no technological interventions, innovations or mechanization involved in processing and production process. The sector is normally based on labour intensive methods and the role of capital is near zero. The sector is based on labour intensive methods and the role of capital is zero. There is no diversification and value additions related to the production as most of the industries are small scale industries. Which is the main limitation of production of bamboo products, due to the lack of technological intervention massive production is not possible
Due to the irregularity of flowering of bamboos, it create problems in order to identify the proper species. Out of different varieties of bamboos, identification and genetic relationships of 12 species were investigated using random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPD) technique. But still many varieties of bamboo species are there in India which are still not in use, due to the lack of research process.
Lack of value addition to the Bamboo products in India, presents the challenges in the sector within the framework of the Production-to-Consumption System. It is discovered that Bamboo, an even larger export market currently dominated by China exists, which may be tapped through industrialization of the sector. A wide multitude of challenges exist at each stage in the Production-to-Consumption System, many of them being legislative and regulatory in nature, while many others relate to improper and insufficient implementation of existing programs. Also it is found that due to the lack of wages artisans are not interested work in bamboo sectors, so due to lack of scope and wages people are getting deviated from bamboo industries, which can considered as the biggest limitation of bamboo industries in India.
The main objective of this paper is to identify and estimate the limitations of bamboo handicraft industry and studying the structure as well as functioning of bamboo industries, where actually lacking behind also to recommend best way to improve the condition of the industry.
The study is based on both primary and secondary sources of collecting information also some ethnography studies for understanding the structure of the bamboo handicraft industry in the southern Indian states. This paper also based on collecting data about the different organizations like registered and unregistered bamboo handicraft units functioning in different states under various institutions controlled by the state as well as central government and different NGOs which are associated with bamboo handicraft sectors..
“The majority of bamboos are arbore scent and perennial. The erect stems (culms) of woody bamboos are useful for a wide variety of purposes. Most bamboos flower only once at the end of very long vegetative growth phases and die afterwards. Flowering in bamboos is thought to be under genetic control, occurring somewhat like an alarm clock, going off at a preset time. The nature of this genetic clock and any interaction between the “internal clock’ and the environment are not yet known. Because of this “peculiar’ flowering behavior bamboo seeds are available only at very long intervals” (JOHN AND NADGAUDA, 1999).
The frequency of bamboo cutting cycles is based on working convenience. Periodic flowering coupled with misuse and lack of protection has r-educed the extent of bamboo forests. Some foresters believe that bamboo rhizomes extend outwards and young bamboo culms depend on the support of the old culms. Studies have shown that the development of new culms is not peripheral. Culms older than two year-s do not affect the production of new culms. The productivity of bamboo forests depends on the production and size of new culms. Clump age is controlled by the genetics of the seed but culm age depends on the provenance and climatic conditions. Removal of dry culms increases the production of new culms. Vegetative reproduction methods have been worked out for several bamboo species but the success depends on the age of the culm and the season of cutting.
“Among the 136 species comprising the 21 genera of bamboos recorded from India, 24 species consisting of eight genera are known to occur in peninsular India. Of these, nine species of Ochlandra which are reeds are used in the pulp and paper industry, mat making and basket-making in the traditional industrial sector in Kerala. Five species of Ochlandra such as Ochlandra beddomei. Ochlandra ebracteata, Ochlandra setigera. Ochlandra sivaairiana and Ochlandra talbortii are reported to be endangered and restricted in distribution in Kerala” (Muktesh Kumar).
“Production of bamboo handicraft in Kerala, traditionally a hereditary occupation restricted to a particular caste, is now practiced by anyone with the necessary aptitude and skill. This is where the non-traditional sector comes into prominence. Although both the sectors use the same raw material, the inefficacies pertaining to production, marketing and technology are different. A majority of the non-traditional handicraft units are very small with low investment. Besides, cost escalation and low surplus generation in the past few years make investment in this sector less attractive. The value addition or surplus generation in manufacturing of bamboo handicrafts by the non-traditional sector is very low in Kerala. Development of technology in this sector is also low considering the fact that this is an activity carried out by the socially and economically weaker sections in the society” (Muraleedharan, P. K. and Anitha. V., 2007). This paper attempts to analyze problems and prospectus relating to value addition and technological development of bamboo handicraft industry in non-traditional sector.
“In course of time, each stratum developed its own subculture, the Shudras were reduced to permanent backwardness as a service class. Each caste has its own customs, traditions and rituals to regulate the behavior of Caste members. Caste gets survival through this behavior. Caste economy promoted occupational interdependence (jajmani system). These occupational caste groups can be categorized as (i) Artisan castes (ii) Service castes. For a comprehensive understanding of the current status of the Artisan sector in southern India, it is important to understand the Artisan value chain. It depends on Human Resources, Legal Entities, Credits, Facilities, Technology, Transport to markets, Quality checks, marketing and promotion goods. Globalization is unique processes which offer new opportunities to humankind but also poses many challenges” (CH. Sruthi and T. Ramesh, 2015). The biggest problem while implementing the developmental schemes is the lack of proper knowledge on handicraft units and number of artisans.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
Flowering problem of bamboo
The main problem associated with bamboo species is, their unpredictably flowering period, and every bamboo’s flowering time varies from species to species. It’s found that once flowering taken place, decline of the bamboo happens and it dies entirely. It’s found that many species only flowers at along interval like 65 or 120 years. There was a cohort study was done on the flowering of bamboos, which refers that any plant which derived from the clonal propagation of same the same species will also flower regardless of whether it has been planted in different location or different time. For the Phyllostachys bambusoides species it’s noted that the flowering interval is around 130 years. Regardless of differences in geographic locations or climatic conditions, all the plants of the above discussed species flowers at the same time and then the bamboo dies. Sometimes due to the lack of environmental impact flowering time and the cessation of vegetative growth varies. The mechanism as well as the evolutionary cause behind the flowering, is still largely a mystery.
Lack of technological and design intervention:
For any production sector technology advancement is considered as the key factor as it enhances the productivity as well as reduces the cost of production. In the south Indian handicraft sector, the technology advancement is very poor and people are mostly depending on the traditional tool and equipment for making the products. As most of the units are small scale or cottage with poor financial capabilities usually using low cost machineries and tools in different stages of production. For the bulk order industries higher the manual labour in all stages of production which results in reduced productivity per day. The tools used by the artisans are traditional tools and often locally produced or purchase from market due to which it takes time to produce bulk amount of products and needed more man power as a result it affects the productivity.
Productive capacity and wages
From primary data collection it’s found that artisans are getting very less amount of wages per month which ranges from Rs. 1875 to Rs. 9000 foo the production of different products like lamp shade, oval basket, flower vase, blinds, table mats etc. due to which those artisans are not willing their further generations to get in to bamboo industry. Depending on the number of products only artisans are getting wages on daily basis. Out of different products blind making artisans earned more (Rs. 9000) than others. Due to the mechanization the productive capacity is high in blind production.
Primary data estimates of a bamboo cluster
Products /cost Lamp shade
(h.6 x d.32″) Oval Basket (h. 4 x d. 30) Flower vase (h. 7.5xd. 20″) Mechanized
Blinds(Sq ft) Table mat (sq.ft.)
Sq.ft (0.09m2 ) produced per day 2 3 2 30 37.5
5.49 3.45 5.55 7.46 35
Number of days
Working/month 25 25 25 25 25
Quantity/month 50 75 50 750 937.5
Earned/month/person 3750 3750 2925 9000 1875
From above data it seems how much wages the artisans are getting, so due to the lack of wages artisans are not interested work in bamboo sectors, also due to lack of scope and wages people are getting deviated from bamboo industries,
A system used to be designed where, there will be the facility of germplasm, live collections
and seed storage units.
Flowering details of different species and population of the bamboo in or out side of the state is to be recorded.
Depending upon the flowering records of bamboos, different flowering cohorts of the same species used to be identified.
Good quality of clumps (i.e. superior in terms of ability or qualities clump) from each cohort is to be identified.
Identify elite clumps from each cohort.
To conserve intraspecific variability, germplasm is to be established.
Input should be provided for technology/ product development
Development of appropriate tools and technologies should be done
Tools and technologies upgradation is needed.
Addition of value to products and innovation of new products.
Diversification in product designing sector.
Market research used to be conducted
Promoting bamboo industry.
For securing loans procedure should be more simplified in nature.
Categorization of the industry into different sector like cottage, small, medium and large scale to ensure development at each level.
Ensuring raw material supply
Be sure about the skill of manpower
Be sure about the availability of trained and skilled manpower.
Providing facility regarding the availability of tools/machinery / technology
Availability of hand tools and semi-mechanized and mechanized machinery for cross cutting, slivering, slat/stick making etc. is to be facilitated.
For pre, primary and secondary processing, common facility centers (CFCs) should be there.
Set up an institutional arrangement
In order to utilize improved technology proper incentives used to be provided.
Investments in the bamboo sector should be encouraged.
Different machines like cross cutting, slivering etc. should be provide on grant or loan basis.
The timely adequate information about the market and how to access it, should be provided.
For the government owned units of agro processing, fishing etc. it should be made mandatory for using bamboo/reed products instead of plastics
Creating a general fund for the development of the bamboo sector by way of levying a tax(Green tax) on environmentally hazardous products which can be substituted by bamboo products.( the fund will be useful in order to encourage the self-groups to cultivate bamboo along riverbank, government lands and other wastelands)
The study on limitation of bamboo handicraft industry led to the following conclusions/indications.
There is lack of research and development activities associated with the species of bamboo and their flowering periods, which is the limitation considered to be in the handicraft industry.
Although the handicraft craft industry is predicted to be increasing on the basis of national and international markets, but due to the competition from related units the industry seemed to be lagging.
The industry is facing number of problems i.e. due to the lack of mechanization, the small scale and cottage units in south India is depicted to be as the low productive in nature. Also due to the unhindered growth of the industry the informal sector is limiting factor to the optimal and sustainable development. The existence of formal and informal sector makes the information base of bamboo very weak, inconsistent and full of gaps.
Due to the lack of design interventions and lack of market knowledge bamboo sectors are not able to achieve something remarkable in handicraft sector.
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