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The Centre has lifted the "export prohibition" on bamboo charcoal to boost utilisation of raw bamboo and support the industry.

“All the bamboo charcoal made from bamboo obtained from legal sources are permitted for export subject to proper documentation/certificate of origin proving that the bamboo used for making charcoal has been obtained from legal sources,'' read the notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which is supporting thousands of bamboo-based industries in the country said the decision would reduce the high input cost of raw bamboo and make the bamboo-based industries profitable.

Bamboo charcoal has a huge demand in the international market and the lifting of export prohibition by the government will enable the Indian bamboo industry to tap this opportunity and exploit the huge global demand. This will also ensure optimum utilisation of bamboo waste and thus contribute to the Prime Minister’s vision of Waste to Wealth," Chairman KVIC Vinai Kumar Saxena.

According to the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, the Indian bamboo industry is grappling with extremely high input costs owing to inadequate utilization of bamboo. In India, bamboo is mostly used in manufacturing of Agarbatti wherein, a maximum of 16% is used for manufacturing bamboo sticks while the remaining 84% of bamboo is a complete waste. As a result, the Bamboo input cost for Round Bamboo Sticks is in the range of 25,000 to 40,000 per MT as against the average Bamboo cost of 4,000 to 5,000 per MT.

However, the export of bamboo charcoal would ensure complete utilization of the bamboo waste and thus make the bamboo business more profitable. Bamboo charcoal for barbeque, soil nutrition, and as a raw material for manufacturing activated charcoal, has great potential in international markets like the USA, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, and the UK.

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