After the ban on the import of raw incense sticks from China and Vietnam, the government has taken a new initiative to revive the agarbatti industry in the country. Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari in collaboration with Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) inaugurated a major bamboo agarbatti stick making unit named “Keshari Bio-Products LLP” in Bajali district in Assam. This will not only strengthen the Indian agarbatti industry but will also increase employment in the region and reduce imports from other countries.
In fact, the import of raw incense sticks has been banned recently from China and Vietnam. Also, in view of the increase in import duty on round bamboo sticks for incense sticks, the establishment of these units in Assam assumes great importance. These two decisions were taken to essentially stop the importation of incense sticks and bamboo sticks from two countries, which crippled the Indian incense sticks industries.
10 crores established at a cost of Rs.
The special thing is that this unit is a big step towards becoming a “self-reliant India” and is a suitable example of “earning money from waste” besides making incense sticks. A large amount of waste bamboo is used in making bio-fuels and various other products. Set up at a cost of Rs 10 crore, the agarbatti stick making unit will provide direct employment to 350 people, while also creating more than 300 indirect employment opportunities.
Hundreds of closed units revived in last one and a half years
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and KVIC President Vinay Saxena had made considerable efforts to curb the import of these two items. As a result, hundreds of closed agarbatti manufacturing units in India have revived over the last year and a half and around 3 lakh new jobs have been created. Keshari Bio-Products LLP is the first major project that has come after these policy decisions.
The most suitable example of self-reliant India
Meanwhile, Gadkari expressed happiness over the formation of a new bamboo rod unit in Assam, saying that it would go a long way in strengthening the local agarbatti industry. He said that there is a huge potential for local employment generation in this area. He added, “It is the most appropriate example of self-reliant India, which aims to create local employment and sustainable livelihood opportunities.”
More than 10 lakh artisans get employment
KVIC President Vinay Saxena said that the ban on import of raw incense sticks and increase in import duty on bamboo incense sticks has created huge employment opportunities in India and these new units aim to capitalize on this opportunity.
He further added, “Agarbatti industry is a major field of village industry in India which employs over 10 lakh artisans. With the arrival of new agarbatti and bamboo rod manufacturing units, about 3 lakh new jobs have been created in the region in the last year and a half. To get the most out of this opportunity, KVIC has also started a program called Khadi Agarbatti Self-Reliant Mission to boost India’s local agarbatti production through the Prime Minister Employment Generation Program. He said that the new agarbatti manufacturing unit will also strengthen the huge bamboo industry in Assam.
Waste bamboo will also be used after making incense sticks
It may be noted that only 16 percent bamboo is used for making sticks of incense sticks, while the remaining 84 percent bamboo goes waste. However, with the diverse technology employed by Keshari Bio-Products LLP, each piece of bamboo is put into use. Waste bamboo is ignited to produce methane gas which is mixed with diesel as an alternative fuel. Burnt bamboo is also used to make incense sticks and charcoal powder for use as fuel. Waste bamboo is also used to make ice cream-sticks, chopsticks, spoons, and other items.