Authors:Pavithra G.M, K. J Jacob
Abstract:As a country, India is extremely diverse in its bamboo varieties having around 140 species and being second in the world only after China. Bamboo products are appropriately considered eco-friendly due to their intrinsic characteristics of being biodegradable and being derived from a renewable natural resource base. The bamboo mat making initiative of Kerala State Bamboo Corporation Limited (KSBC) known for building a successful bamboo community based on Ochlandra travancorica (Bedd.) Gamble, the commonly found reed bamboo in Kerala, India is described. Among the various bamboo products, bamboo mat making is one of the oldest value-added product combining traditional wisdom and utility. The different stages involved in bamboo mat making, challenges faced and possible solutions are outlined. Other parallel aspects like making bamboo boards from bamboo mats and bamboo waste management have also been dealt with. The paper also highlights the potential of value-added products made from bamboo as a commercial green product with multiple applications that may have a significant impact enhancing local economy and upliftment of the indigenous tribal communities of the region.
Keywords:Kerala State Bamboo Corporation Limited (KSBC), Ochlandra travancorica, Bamboo mats, composite material, value addition, local communities.