A workshop ‘Bridging Japan and India by Bamboo’ was organized in the Bamboo and Cane Development Institute, Agartala in which a team from the Japanese embassy in New Delhi and various stakeholders in the bamboo handicraft sector of the northeastern state took part.
The workshop was inaugurated by Tripura Forest Minister, Mewar Kumar Jamatia, who appreciated the initiative of the Japanese Embassy, Tripura Forest Department and JICA officials for organizing the workshop which would be not only benefitting the artisans and play a vital role in further improving the relation between India and Japan through mutual cooperation.
The Japanese team led by Kenko Sone, Minister, Economic and Development, Embassy of Japan, India is on tour of India’s north-eastern region.
During the workshop, the Japanese team which also had their bamboo artisan Kei Hasegawa beside Researcher and Economic Adviser Kyohei Yamamoto and JICA officials, exchanged ideas with the traditional bamboo artisans of the region on the scope and development of bamboo handicraft through capacity building for value addition as per the market demand and for sustainable development.
Japanese team leader Sone, said that during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan during last September, a new forum ‘Act East Forum’ was formed so that Japan could cooperate with the north-eastern region of India by providing several developmental projects in – road connectivity, electricity, water and sewerage projects, development in forestry and which is one of the key projects of cooperation.
He also informed that the Indian government has been asking Japan to cooperate in the bamboo sector especially in the north-eastern region of India besides increasing the people-to-people contact between the two nations.
On Wednesday, the Japanese team arrived here on a two-day tour and during which visited various bamboo utility centres including bamboo wood factory, handicraft production unit, and crafts selling centres.
Kei Hasegawa a renowned bamboo artisan who is part of the visiting team appreciated the Indian bamboo artisan handicraft products and expressed that with proper value addition and finishing, the bamboo handicrafts would give a better return as there are huge potential and demand for them in the global market.
Meanwhile, the local artisans expressed that through such exchange programme they are benefitted as they got new ideas which would increase the demand for their products in the market and as well as fetch them better return.
Earlier the team also visited Crafts & More, a showroom of unique bamboo handicraft made by artisans, mainly from the tribal section of people, trained and funded under the Tripura JICA project.
Angshuman Dey, CEO and Project Director Tripura JICA Project said that the brainstorming going on in the workshop shall lead to various useful ideas in the sector for cooperation in between the two nations and pave the way for concrete proposals for adding more value to new products with new designs, qualities besides exploring new export markets.
He also said that Tripura is rich in bamboo diversity and the new government has given extra importance to explore and develop the bamboo sector by developing a synergy through cross-learning and collaboration with Japan which will lead the bamboo sector of the state to a newer height.