India is renowned for its diverse culture, traditions, religion, and exquisite handicrafts. The handicrafts sector is the second-largest source of employment for the rural population after agriculture, with over seven million regional artisans and 67,000 exporters and export houses promoting regional art and craftsmanship in domestic and global markets. One of the crafts that India excels in is bamboo craft, with export analysis revealing that nearly 154 countries and territories actively import bamboo from India. The total value of combined exports is $140.47 million USD. The bamboo craft, which has been practiced in India for centuries, is not only limited to the Northeast region, as Maharashtra is also contributing to the industry. Maharashtra's bamboo-bearing area spans over 11,465 square kilometers, distributed across ten districts, with Vidarbha producing over 90% of the total yield.
Bamboo has the potential to play an important role in generating a renewable and sustainable source of income and employment, providing a viable livelihood due to its fast growth. It can regenerate within the period of most products' lifespans, making it a "renewable" resource. For example, bamboo grows six times faster than teak and can store carbon at a fast rate, effectively displacing more emissions-intensive materials such as cement, steel, and plastic. Recent INBAR research suggests that well-managed bamboo can store 200 to 400 metric tones of carbon per hectare per year. The easy availability of bamboo in many areas leads to cost-effective production. Additionally, the product gains sustainable value if it is produced by local bamboo processors, allowing for the creation of production opportunities for rural community enterprises as well as niche social and commercial markets. Development should focus on exploring the commercial and design potential of bamboo, along with the material's potential to allow for socially equitable production.