Bamboo artisans to teach skills in Africa

Training for bamboo craftsmen
Roopak Goswami

Guwahati, June 18 : Africa has been learning bamboo skills from the Northeast.

Trainers from Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) will be helping bamboo artisans in Ethiopia and Uganda to polish their skills and upgrade them in tune with the market demands and also enable them to make better products.

“This training will focus on product design, development and quality improvement, in line with the market demands. The programme will provide necessary knowledge, skills and attitude,” Kamesh Salam, director, CBTC told The Telegraph.

The training is being done under the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) project on — One Village, Industrial Cluster.

“The artisan skills in these countries is not good and hence our expertise was wanted,” Salam said.

Suresh Chandra Das and Subrata Chakraborty, who have been engaged by CBTC as trainers, will be there for one month from July 1 in both these countries to provide the skills.

Das has been awarded as the best craftsman by Tripura in 1998 and has been working in the bamboo sector since 1973 and also trained artisans in Tripura and Assam.

Chakraborty has been working consistently in the bamboo sector since 1996 and has developed many bamboo products.

In Ethiopia, CBTC trainers will impart bamboo-processing skills in Awassa cluster and similarly in Kisoro, Uganda.

A training course will be designed to improve the participant’s bamboo processing skills and the course will be developed considering the prevailing market for the particular products.

The trainees will be provided technical training through practical sessions.

One-to-one technical inputs will be provided for in-depth transfer of technical knowledge to the trainees depending on their needs and aptitudes. Product developments on basketry, tablemats, wall hangings, various types of decorative items, utility items, bamboo jewellery, clips, souvenirs and gift items for tourist markets are in the course module.

Trainees will be provided with knowledge and skills to perform treatment, preservation and storage of bamboo.

It will enable trainees to describe harvesting procedures of bamboo and select bamboo materials for a specified product application.

The trained artisans will be provided distant exchange through e-communications and provide follow-up in the immediate aftermath of the training.

Salan said the outcome of the training programme would be documented and submitted to the Unido headquarters along with a follow-up plan.

CBTC has trained bamboo farmers in Timor Leste for bamboo plantation and propagation and also trained the officials and trainers from the Centre for Bamboo Timor Leste, a Unido-implemented and funded project.

The CBTC was established in Guwahati in 2000 as a centre and secretariat for implementation of Cane and Bamboo Technological Upgradation and Networking Project, under the Unido country programme for India.

CBTC is also the bamboo technical support group of the National Bamboo Mission for the Northeast, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal.