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Bamboo craft-making training empowers farmers to capitalise on huge bamboo resources

The members of the Norbugang Non-Wood Forest Product Group will now be able to capitalise on the huge bamboo resources available in the district. A two-week bamboo craft-making training was conducted recently. The group is now planning to start making bamboo products and selling them.

The members of the Norbugang Non-Wood Forest Group are learning how to make bamboo strips, which will be used to make different bamboo products.

They say such training will help them acquire skills to earn more.

“In the village, we do not have anything to make income from. Now that I am trained, I will keep pursuing the craft with enthusiasm,” said Cheten Zangmo, a member of the group.

“In the past, our parents had produced some bamboo products but that practice vanished with time. So, we want to revive this tradition and improve our livelihood,” said Norbu Tenzin, secretary of the group.

The training has an equal number of women participants.

“To make it sustainable, we will also make a by-law very soon. Though we cannot come and do it every day. Will make sure that we will meet once or twice a month,” said Khenrab Dorji, an accountant of the group.

The participants said since they live near neighbouring Indian towns, they will not face marketing issues.

“If we can produce well-finished products, we are thinking we can market it within Nganglam. We are happy that we can produce the products in our locality and hope the customers will also buy from us as they do not have to travel far to buy bamboo products now,” added Cheten Zangmo.

“The trainers taught us how to colour the products. So, we are hoping we can market our products easily. Now we are really interested in producing bamboo crafts,” said Dhendup, chairperson of the group.

More than 30 members of the group took part in 15-day training. Besides the training, the United Nations Development Programme in Bhutan also donated over Nu 2.2 M to the group through its Small Grant Project.

Through the fund, a collection centre for Non-Wood Forest Products and bamboo products will be built.

Thinley Dorji, Pema Gatshel

Edited by Kipchu