Bamboo has played an important part in the lives of the people of Assam. It has been an integral part of the cultural, social and economic traditions of the State, and is also an important component of the wealth of Assam.
It grows in natural forests and is cultivated in homesteads, groves and on private plantations too. It is utilised in many ways viz. for housing, fencing, functional articles, agricultural implements, basketry and even fuel and food.
There are 26 species of bamboo found in Assam which include- Kalia banh, Bhaluka banh, Kotoha Banh, Betua Banh, Jati Banh, Lota banh, Beti banh, Lota banh, etc found across the state.
Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on this planet. A viable replacement for wood, bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. An essential structural material in architectures, flexible and lightweight bamboo enables structures to “dance” during earthquakes. Ply bamboo is now being used for wall paneling, floor tiles, bamboo pulp is used for paper making, briquettes for fuel, raw material for housing construction and rebar for reinforced concrete beams. Also a soil conservation tool, bamboo is an exquisite component of landscape designing. Its anti-erosion properties create an effective watershed, stitching the soil together along the fragile river banks, deforested areas, and in places prone to earthquake and mud slides in Assam. A critical element of the economy of Assam, bamboo has also been integral to religious ceremonies, art, music and daily life for years. Musical instruments made of bamboo crate unique resonance.
Different usage of Bamboos in daily life:
- Bamboo used for civil construction purpose:
A Bamboo Mud house. Bamboo – an essential building material for earthquake prone areas.
Bamboo Bridge in rural Assam.
Bamboo crisscrossed fencing in paddy field.
2. Bamboo as a source of living:
A marketplace for selling bamboo products.
Fisherman using bamboo supported fishing net.
3. Bamboo as food:
Bamboo is used in many food items in Assam such as Bamboo-shoot pickle, meat items which has bamboo as an ingredient such as pork with bamboo shoot.
Bamboo also acts as a revenue generator for the Government of Assam. The Forest Department of Assam receives few crores from two HPC run paper mills at Jogighopa and Panchagram. Bamboo plantations are taken up under National Afforestation Programme through JFMCS.