Bamtech – An Innovative App Launched In Bhutan To Inform Users About The Cultivation Of Bamboo

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The application features essential information regarding the usage of bamboo for housing, construction, the making of furniture and manufacture of quality products.

Bamboo walkway, Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan. (Source: Mybirdie.ca)

  

By Nima | Kuensel

To assist entrepreneurs and the private sector in exploring opportunities in the commercialisation of bamboo and to promote it as major construction material, Bamtech, a mobile application on bamboo housing and construction was launched on August 14 in Thimphu.

The application features essential information regarding the usage of bamboo for housing, construction, the making of furniture and manufacture of quality products.

The origins of Bamtech

The South Asia Bamboo Foundation developed the application this year. The app was first launched in New Delhi, India followed by a series of relaunches across the states of India. Bamtech was also launched at a global platform, in China, Beijing earlier this year.

 

Source: Google Play

 

The Officials from the Bhutan Chamber for Commerce and Industry, the Handicraft Association of Bhutan and the founder and CEO of the South Asia Bamboo Foundation, Kamesh Salam attended the launch.

Kamesh Salam said that products made from bamboo were questioned about the durability and shelf life.

“It’s also considered as a poor man’s timber. These are all because of the lack of awareness and information on the management and treatment of bamboo,” he said. “Bamboos if not treated well would be attacked by fungus.”

A natural and a traditional method of smoking is considered the best bamboo treatment and preservation practice.

Main hindrances behind the commercialisation of bamboo

Kamesh Salem said that the mismanagement of bamboo, lack of information on the harvesting procedures and collection of bamboo were the challenges involved in its commercialisation and in using it as a housing material.

 

Source: Bhutan Shop

 

Despite growing more than 30 species and with the abundant availability of bamboos in the country, the non-wood forest products are mainly limited to the making of bamboo baskets, cane containers, cane hats, and other basic home utilities.

What the Bamtech app hopes to achieve

The Bamtech app aims to explore the potential of bamboo cultivation and management. It strives to promote it to a commercial level in order to provide communities in Bhutan with business opportunities in bamboo cultivation. 

The app would also promote innovative ways of using bamboo to improve rural livelihoods, protect the environment and to encourage a green economy, according to Kamesh Salam.

The BCCI Secretary General, Sangay Dorji said that such an initiative would be conducted through collaborations with the private sector associations as they are regarded as the engine of economic growth.

“If we are to achieve self-sustainability, then this kind of initiative will be exemplary.”

He said that bamboo cultivation would be a great substitute to timber. This would also contribute to supporting the government’s key initiative like import substitution, environmental conservation and export enhancement with innovative products. Last but not least, it can also help create employment opportunities.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 

 


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