GUWAHATI: Assam ’s newly formed district of Bajali got a major bamboo Agarbatti stick-making unit named “Keshari Bio Products LLP” on Thursday. Union Minister of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the unit through video conference.
Set up at a cost of Rs 10 crore, the Agarbatti stick unit will provide direct employment to 350 people while also creating over 300 indirect employments. An example of “Waste to Wealth” as apart from making Agarbatti sticks, it utilizes a huge quantity of waste bamboo into making bio-fuel and various other products.
Setting up of these units in Assam assumes great significance in wake of the Centre’s decision of restriction on import of raw Agarbatti from China and Vietnam and also a hike in import duty on round bamboo sticks for Agarbatti. The two decisions were taken essentially to curb the huge import of Agarbatti and bamboo sticks from the two countries that had crippled the Indian Agarbatti industries.
Hundreds of closed Agarbatti manufacturing units in India were revived in the last one and half years creating nearly 3 lakh new jobs.
Keshari Bio Products LLP is the first big project that has come up after these policy decisions.
It is noteworthy that only 16% of bamboo is used for making Agarbatti sticks while the remaining 84% of bamboo goes waste. However, with diverse technology employed by Keshari Bio Products LLP, every bit of the bamboo is utilised.
The waste bamboo is burnt to produce methane gas which is mixed with diesel as an alternate fuel. The burnt bamboo is also used for making charcoal powder for Agarbatti and fuel briquettes. The waste bamboo is also used for making ice-cream sticks, chopsticks, spoons and other items.
At present, the consumption of incense sticks in India is pegged at a whopping 1490 tons per day but only 760 tons per day is locally produced. Hence, the huge gap between the demand and supply resulted in heavy import of raw Agarbatti. Consequently, the import of raw Agarbatti increased from just 2% in 2009 to 80% in 2019.
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