Field Visit to Shillong and Guwahati


Back Ground

Samdrupjongkhar Dzongkhag which stretches from 200 masl to 2500 masl with almost 84% of land under forest cover has rich natural resources. There are many non wood forest products like rubia, chirata, star anise, satuwa, cane and bamboo resources. For sustainable harvesting and marketing of natural resources, Dzongkhag Forestry Sector had created thirty seven community forest and twenty two non wood forestry product groups with 1236 house hold. Although groups have been functioning with management regimes and interim frameworks but they are not able to move to the expectation in term of production, value chain, processing, marketing and management in non wood forest product. Therefore filed visit and hands on training is felt important for institutional strengthening of these group members.



  • To see new technologies for processing and value addition of bamboo resources.
  • To learn on the sustainable management and utilization of this versatile resources.
  • To study the technologies through seamless blend of tradition wisdom and modern scientific.
  • To develop contacts and networking for future common relation with relevant organization and institutions.

Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre, Brynihat, Assam
Figure 1 Cane and bamboo product in CBTC

Established in 2000, the Centre has become the focal point for information, technologies and networking in India's cane and bamboo sector. It has created awareness and installed sense of importance among policy makers to make use of this resources. The center identifies and train technologies in cane and bamboo to basically improve income of small entrepreneurs, strengthens existing institution in India as well as abroad. It trains craft man and has its concept of “Bamboo processing zone” which is hailed worldwide. The centre is now:

  • Implementing India's Bamboo Mission for the north-east;
  • Partnering with the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council to establish bamboo mat production centers;
  • Providing technology for industrial bamboo units;
  • Designing and constructing innovative bamboo structures;
  • Training people in the creation of handicrafts and industrial bamboo products;
  • Promoting bamboo handicrafts in other states of India;

The centre use modern technology and most of the machines are either from China or Taiwan. They also cater to training on production of bamboo components like particles, mats and ply boards, flooring times, corrugated sheets.


Some cane and bamboo product, Machines in CBTC.


Shillong, Meghalaya.

Meghalaya is richly endowed with the bamboo forests. Its abundance and multiple uses have led bamboo to play a pivotal role in the socio-economic and cultural life of the tribal people of the state. It finds varied uses like construction material, in making of diverse implements for agriculture, fishing and cattle rearing and the simple household items like utensils small furniture etc. Livelihood of significant population in the state is dependent on the handicrafts made of bamboo.

The important clump forming species include Dendrocalamus strictus, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Bambusa arundinacea, Bambusa pallida, Bambusa tulda, whereas Melocanna bambusoides is the important non-clump forming species.

Extent of natural bamboo forests in Meghalaya has been estimated to be 3108 sq kilometers. Bamboo forests of the state are largely under the control of Autonomous District Councils (ADC). These forests are subjected to very little or no scientific management.

The sale of bamboo products in Bara Bazzar, Shillong.


Don Bosco Museum

Don Bosco Museum is located in the heart of shilling city which show case indigenous cultures of popularly know as the “seven sisters of North East”. It has the following gallery:

  • Mini Museum
  • Our Neighbours Gallery
  • It showcases the neighboring countries surrounding the North East
  • Photo Gallery
  • Black and white photos aged 40-50 of North East are displayed
  • Mission and Culture Gallary
  • Introduction and Pre-History Gallery
  • Land and People Gallery
  • Fishing, Hunting and Gathering Gallery
  • Agriculture Gallery
  • Tradition and Technology Gallery
  • Basketry Gallery
  • Musical Instrument Gallery
  • Religion and Cultural Gallery
  • Weapons Gallery
  • Costume and Ornamental Gallery
  • Art Gallery and Sky walk


Coal Mining Area, Cherrapungee

Coal mining had caused massive damage to landscape and biological communities in this area. All most all the natural trees were cut down and plant communities disturbed, habitats impoverished and we can see nutrient deficient sandy soil.

Plant communities disturbed due to mining activities and following the mining, the habitats had impoverished and it has become difficult for natural re-vegetation to take place. Patches plantation are being carried out.

Thangkharang National Park, Cherrapungee

The National park was established by Forest Department and is 12 Km from Cherrapunjee main town and there are many rare and exotic orchids and some rare species of plants endemic to the area. It is located on the cliff which views plains of Bangladesh and can also see many exotic waterfalls of Meghalaya which local people refers as “seven sisters”, referring to the seven north east states of India.

The park which is only 5 hectre is well maintained.

Kynrud, Mairang Block

North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) is a livelihood and rural development project aimed to transform the lives of the poor and marginalized tribal families in North East (NE) India. NERCORMP is a joint developmental initiative of the North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of DoNER, Govt. of India and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).Its broad objective is:

"To improve the livelihoods of vulnerable groups in a sustainable manner through improved management of their resource base in a way that contributes to the preservation and restoration of the environment"

There are sixteen Self Help Group in Kynrud comprising only women as members. Can and Bamboo Management group is one such group but as resources had declined; its production is done at a household level. The group members produce the cane and bamboo products based on the demand from Shillong or others area. The individual members sell directly to the buyers. As the resources had already been depleted, all raw materials are purchased. All the group members have a saving account and groups books of record and accounts are maintained.

Some of the challenges and problems are:

  • Self sustainability
  • Non implementation of activities
  • Influence by rich people

NERCORMP do facilitation and funding.

Umiam Lake Shillong

Umiam Lake is a reservoir located in the hills 15 km to the North of Shillong. It was created by damming the Umiam river in the early 1960s.

Apart from storing water for electricity generation, the lake also provides a large number of ecosystem services at micro, meso and macro levels. Downstream irrigation, fisheries and drinking water cater to local anthropogenic needs. Surrounded by khasi pine, it is one of the tourist spot of Shillong.


Visiting Team

  1. Sherub Dorji, Drungpa, Jomotsangkha
  2. Karma Leki, Dzongkhag Forestry Officer
  3. Karma Dorji, Asst. Dzongkhag Forestry Officer
  4. Tenzin Dorji, Farmers, Jampani, Langchenphug
  5. Namgang Dorji, Farmers, Dawathang, Langchenphug
  6. Pema Jatsho, Farmers, Dawathang, Langchenphug
  7. Pema Yangay, Farmers, Zangthii, Lauri


The five days study visits including the journey had been successful. The participants are able to see, spend time with local farmers and get hands on knowledge on cane and bamboo management and marketing in Assam and Meghalaya.

It will be good opportunity for our farmers to get trained on cane and bamboo handicraft in Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) in Assam. The machines in CBTC are all imported but our famers can opt for cheaper and small machine at individual or group level from India.

Sustainable management and marketing of resources is a priority for the sustainability of non wood forest products groups in the Dzongkhag, and good forest and environment is an integral part of our farming communities.

The farmers will on pilot basic start producing waste basket which would contribute to the Dzongkhags efforts and aims towards the production of bamboo and cane waste baskets to replace plastic baskets as a Communities effort to contribute to waste management program.

The visit was coordinated by NERCORMP and is financed through RNR training budget under RGoB.


Compiled by:
-Karma Leki
-Karma Dorji