Zhemgang RSPN Field Office in collaboration with the Bjoka Block RNR Extension Forest Office and Bjoka Bamboo Craft Cooperative Group organized a three-day training on technical skills on bamboo and cane products development to 61 members of Bjoka Bamboo Craft Cooperative Group and 10 participants from Ponchula under Phangkhar Gewog (block) from 2nd to 10thOctober, 2014. A total of 71 participants were trained. It is a part of ADB funded project on “Improving Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan”.
The main goals of the training were to enhance energy-based livelihoods for rural women, build capacities to improve local service delivery and strengthen the operational sustainability of local resources. Some of the specific objectives were:
The participants were trained in three batches for three days. As a part of in-house training, the participants were educated on importance of sustainable resource management for future generation and importance of bamboo for livelihoods and ecology. They were also introduced to some available scopes of income generation for better livelihoods and market potentials to sell the products as they have now easy access to markets with motor roads. The participants were also trained on potentials for using electric-powered machines to increase the productivity and enhancement in the quality of the products with the recent connection to grid-electricity.
Participants had hands-on training on basics of bamboo products development such as splitting the bamboo into pieces, dying, end-ring making, and product diversification. These practical trainings were provided by two local bamboo experts from the east (Kangpara, Trashigang District) and two assistant local bamboo expert women from Bjoka.
The participants from Ponchula said that almost all the process are similar but few process are different such as in end ring making. The participants from Ponchula hoped for similar trainings in their community as well.
Feedback from Trainers
Mr. Sangay Wangpo, one of the trainers said that training to men group is much easier than the women group as most of the finishing part of the bamboo and Cane products are done by men at home. Trainers were excited to learn to weave more complicated patterns for bangchung (bamboo bowl). They learnt the new Bangchung pattern called Sem-Rig Bangchung.
The Bjoka sub-block locally called as (Chiwogs) are located very far from the centre with large river basins which discourages participants and also delays to attend such trainings. The trainers have to conduct trainings in simplest forms through visual aids as the participants are farmers.