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Mar 05, 2004
Bamboo futures

Is that for real? Is it possible to grow that fast? Yes, because bamboo is a miracle plant; it is known to grow nearly a metre per day on occasions. INBR states dramatically, that it takes 60 years to replace a 60 foot tree but only 60 days to replace a 60 foot bamboo. It is also versatile and there are close to 1500 uses for it. [Peek here for a delightful list]. That should not surprise anyone as worldwide, a billion people live in bamboo houses and use bamboo derived products in their daily lives. Of course, bamboo shoots are eaten as well.

Marketable products like mats, baskets, mugs, boxes, furniture, housing structurals, musical instruments, fishing gear, hats, ice cream sticks etc are obvious products, but rather passe for the creative material that bamboo is. As craftsmen climb the value chain they can make up-market products and reap high margins. Outlook magazine in its Feb 23, 2004 issue says, “Bamboo toys can bring in anything between $1 and $150, a bamboo baseball bat costs $80, while a bamboo chair is priced at $250 in the global market.” At the recently concluded World Bamboo Congress in New Delhi, India’s young celebrities walked the ramp wearing fine woven bamboo fabric tailored by fashion designers.

The Mission is to get India’s craftsmen connected to the profitable, quality markets. Bamboo is democratic in that it is close to people, responsive to innovation and open to individual enterprise. For India, an investment in bamboo, is a natural fit.

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