SBI agrees ‘in principle’ to finance bamboo plantations

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Apr 2018 10:12:16


By Ramesh Marulkar,

State Bank of India (SBI) has accepted ‘in principle’ to finance poor farmers for bamboo plantations on their agricultural lands. Maharashtra Bamboo Development Board (MBDB) had approached to the bank for getting loans to farmers, as part of promoting bamboo plantations.

Formalities for finalising the loan process are expected to be over in month month’s period. The SBI has convened a meeting of the the officials of MBDB on April 9 at Mumbai to discuss modalies for the loans. The bank can decide to offer Rs two lakh loan per acre to a farmer for cultivation of bamboo, known as ‘green gold’.

This was stated by TSK Reddy, Managing Director, MBDB, Nagpur, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ here on Monday. He said that the board was chasing the issue with the bank from last year. The intention of the board is to encourage farmers to cultivate bamoo on their lands as bamboo has protential to bring economic security to cultivators. Moreover, farmers if start cultivating bamboo would be able to get subsidiary income and they can stand even in adverse condition of crop damages or failure of crops. This means farmers would not think of committing suicide when they will be able to meet both ends, said Reddy.

The board is also going to rope in agriculture universities and krishi vigyan kendras to sensitize farmers about cultivation of bamboo. Moreover, the board organised farmers’ gatherings at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Pune in which it invited Rajshekhar Patil from Nipani village in Osmanabad district in Marathwada, who has grown bamboo at the periphery of 56 hectares horticulture garden a decade ago. Patil is now earning Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh per year.

It may be mentioned here that Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, had announced Rs 1290 crore for bamboo sector development, particularly on farmers’ land. The Centre will distribute the funds once Cabinet approval is accorded to it. Maharashtra will also get its share.

Reddy pointed out that Vayunanda Power Plant at Parseoni has developed a 10-acre field on bamboo. The board has also plans to develop demonstration plots in Vidrbha and elsewhere in Maharashtra to educate the cultivators on bamboo cultivation and benefits they would get. Some farmers from Digras in Yavatmal district had shown keen interest in cultivation of bamboo.The board has decided to provide training on bamboo through Forester Salim at Wadali bamboo nursery in Amravati district to responsible persons in every forest division to develop their nurseries on the lines of Wadali.

Bamboo toothpicks unit coming up in Pombhurna

A bamboo toothpicks manufacturing unit supported by Tata Trust is coming up at Pombhurna, 50 km from Chandrapur, at the initiative by Sudhir Mungantiwar, Forest Minister. This will be the first of its kind in Maharashtra. At present wooden toothpick units are functioning. This Rs 65 lakh project is coming up on one hectare of land at Pombhurna. It is being developed with the technical experise from Taiwan. Bamboo cultivated by farmers would be utilised for the purpose that would bring additional income to the bamboo growers and help them earn livelihood. Reddy said that the project would be completed in the next three months.