Tamenglong Bamboo and Cane Development Centre(TAMBAC)

Increasing Livelihood Opportunities and Socio-economic Development of Tamenglong District Using Bamboo and Cane Through Community-based Industrial Approaches.

Background

Endowed with abundant natural resources and a low population, Manipur has much potential for economic growth in a sustainable manner. Yet, incomes in the areas remain low, and the quality of life remains largely unchanged, despite the changes in the economic scenario of the country. Rural communities in the State remain largely unaware of economic opportunities possible using their local natural resources, and are not adequately organized to take advantage of new opportunities for overall social-economic development.

Bamboo and Cane which are widespread in the State, offer numerous opportunities in this regard, and there is much potential for expanding and diversifying production and processing activities and through organized community action. Existing traditional Bamboo and Cane products can be improved, diversify and industrialized. Simultaneously, other mainstream micro and small enterprise products such as matchsticks, pencils, toothpicks, skewer sticks, blinds etc, as well as medium-scale industrial panel products that rival wood products, with strong backward community linkages and benefits, are possible. An increase in bamboo products and market opportunities will also result in increases in demand for raw bamboo and cane, besides the production of fresh bamboo and cane shoots, and their processed products.

Based on the outcome of a workshop held in year 2000, Tamenglong district has been chosen for a pilot project on bamboo and cane-based development.

Objectives:

Increase overall economic, social and environmental benefits from bamboo and cane for the district of Tamenglong, Manipur, India.

Specific Objectives :

  1. Derive income and employment benefits for the people within a composite livelihood approach.
  2. Implement and market-driven project approach, with community-based industrial solutions that enable them to participate in and maximize economic benefits from Bamboo industrial products, and industrialized handicraft production.
  3. Improve quality of life through provision of improved bamboo-based earthquake resistant housing and other infrastructural application.
  4. Improve the enabling environment and logistic to realized overall sustainable socioeconomic development using bamboo and cane.
  5. Organized communities to improve legal status and increase economic bargaining power on an equity-base where possible.
  6. Establish an independent and sustainable professional organization to develop the bamboo and cane sectors in Tamenglong over the longer-term.

Project Design

The ground situation in Tamenglong makes difficult the prior development of a "blueprint" project, with the implementation steps well-prepared and everything set out for direct implementation in a detailed project document. The project will therefore be implemented as a "process" project, and resource to "plan-as-you-go", and a detailed logical framework (logframe) drawn up. Project detailing, scheduling, human and financial resource management will be done in the MS Project 2000 software. If facilities are made available by the Government of Manipur, the entire project will put on to an a GIS platform. Detailed planning will be done on a rolling-plan basis, with a Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWPB) being drawn up which will be reviewed every six months by a Project Management Team consisting of the Sponsors. The process project will be implemented based on the AWPBs.

Overall, a strategic framework will be drawn up for the state of Manipur in general, and more specifically, for Tamenglong. The project strategy to be implemented through the AWPBs will consist of a set of independently implementable and complete projects and activities on bamboo and cane. The overall approach will be market-driven with emphasis on integrating livelihood and industrial development.

Project Strategy

This strategy will be finalized at the initiation of the project, and will evolve over the project duration keeping in mind the increasing understanding and experience gained by all stakeholders.

  1. Preparation of the strategic action plan and community-oriented project design.
  2. Establishment of a community-owned organisation for implementing the project, which will gradually take up project implementation over the three years duration of the project.
  3. Establishment of a Development Nucleus within the project implementing agency (and later within TAMBAC) to provide the necessary technical, product design and marketing backstopping.
  4. Organization of the target villages into VDCs and the community into SHGs (where possible the latter will also be registered and organized into enterprises depending on local need), promote corporatization and modernization of the rural economy, and introduction in a phased, sensitive manner, formal systems of contract that will enable easier flow of commercial finance for working capital and other needs.
  5. Transfer of technologies, training, and setting up of information and market information systems.
  6. Mapping of the raw material supply chain and setting of consolidators to further deliver these to larger industries.
  7. Introduction of certification for sustainable harvested raw material.
  8. Improvement of the bamboo management system to improve productivity and quality, and expansion of cultivation of productive commercial species of bamboo and cane, and establishment of community-owned plantations (individual or group basis).
  9. Work with the State Government to utilized bamboo and cane products in Government-supported buildings, furniture, and procurement tenders.
  10. Work with the State Government for enabling policy support as discussed at the Manipur State Policy Workshop.
  11. Setting up of individually or community owned enterprises for the production of bamboo matchsticks, pencils, rulers, skewer and agarbatti sticks, toothpicks and similar mainstream micro/small enterprise products that are in demand based on a market survey.
  12. Setting up of industries to produce bamboo panel products, with strong backward community linkages.
  13. Setting up of ancillary facilities, including micro power were needed to enable the establishment of processing enterprises.
  14. Processing of raw cane and further processing into value-added raw materials, and modular products.
  15. Setting up of finishing centres in urban areas to cater to the upmarket while reducing costs.
  16. Building of earthquake resistant houses and community buildings using modern bamboo building techniques from Latin America and South Asia.
  17. Give direction to existing handicraft sector to graduate to industrial approach.
  18. Set up new industrial units.
  19. Examination of the possibility of declaration of a clearly demarcated project area as a special economic zone with appropriate incentives.

Institutional Arrangements

The project will be implemented by INBAR as detailed in the MOU.

At the local level, the Tamenglong bamboo and cane Development centre (TAMBAC) will be set up incorporated under Section 25 of the Companies Act as a non-profit professionally managed organization, with widely held ownership through direct shareholding by the participating community of Tamenglong District, Manipur State, India. The co-financing sponsors (including the Government of Manipur, INBAR and other agencies) will subscribe the initial equity and the shares held in trust for the community.

Over the course of the 3-years project, the share will be divested in favour of the community, through payment in cash or in-kind contribution, in a manner to be decided by the implementing agency and/or the board of TAMBAC. The funds so realized will be deposited in a corpus in a trust fund to be set up as a separate body owned by TAMBAC and managed by a board of trustees. Only the proceeds from this can be used by TAMBAC. If TAMBAC is dissolved, the corpus of the trust fund will given to a non-profit organization to be used for development activities. This will be done with the full understanding and agreement of the sponsors. Twenty-six percent of share will continue to be held by the sponsors for a period of five years following which the sponsors might decide to either divest their shareholding or continue for a further final five years period. The objective of continuing in this manner is to protect the community shareholders from decisions of the majority that might affect the objectives or viability of TAMBAC. The goal is to make the organization a fully independent and professional agency.

TAMBAC will be professionally managed, and independent. However, the organizational structure will provide for the participation of the sponsors (including the Government of Manipur, INBAR and other agencies, initially organized as the Project Management Team) in the Council of TAMBAC. The Council will be able to review the work and functioning of TAMBAC but not exercise any direct control of the activities, which will be a function of the Board consisting of professionals appointed in an individual capacity. Since the decisions of the Board and the executive of TAMBAC will be transparent to the Council, the Council will have the freedom to inform the community shareholders if the objectives and viability of TAMBAC, or the interests of the shareholders are being compromised. The initial Board will be appointed by INBAR in consultations with the Sponsors. INBAR will take the necessary steps for the incorporation of TAMBAC.

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Bamboo Blind Bamboo Shoots Bamboo Mats Bamboo Fence Bamboo Table Bamboo Jars
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