A CIBART owned institution, KONBAC worked in INBAR’s action research site in the Konkan region of Maharashtra to develop rural bamboo enterprises. The region has has over 1.5 million tonnes of bamboo and more than 15,000 artisans working in the bamboo sector. KONBAC was established in 2004 and provided technical support by INBAR. It provides rural communities with training in cultivation, production processing and design, enterprise development, and marketing. KONBAC operates through a Common Facility Centre in Kudal equipped with high-pressure treatment and bamboo pre-processing an post processing facilities. The products made include round pole, panel board and laminate furniture and bamboo crates for packing mangoes. Prefab building structures are also made here and erected on site. KONBAC is self sustaining through commercial orders for construction of eco-tourism resorts, cottages and other structures.

The dedicated construction unit in the Kudal CFC acts as a training centre for members of the local community. India’s largest bamboo structure has been prefabricated here and erected in Organo, Hyderabad. It is 10,750 sq ft in diameter and weighs 61 tons. There is also a dedicated facility in Kudal’s commercial centre for handicrafts which mainly benefits women, many of whom are first-time earners.The National Mission for Bamboo Applications has declaring the project to be the most successful bamboo processing community initiative in the country. KONBAC implemented an INBAR programme where Women Self Help Groups produce industrial handcrafted roti baskets. Hand-operated machines at KONBAC’s Common Facility Centre (CFC) produce raw materials industrially. Women engaged in roti basket production are now able to earn Rs. 1,800 by adding value of 800% to the raw materials.

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