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Industries : Destination Tripura
 
Rich in natural, mineral and human resources, India’s northeastern state of Tripura is located in a significant strategic location as it is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides; and the state shares 856 Km long international border. Neighbouring Bangladesh, which lies mostly in non-mountainous plain areas, can boost the economy of the Tripura and other northeastern states. Tripura’s location and socio-economic linkages with Bangladesh makes the state to be the potential hub for trade with and through Bangladesh for the entire northeastern region of India and other adjoining countries – Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and China.
 
The connectivity to the major locations in Bangladesh through existing networks is already reasonably convenient due to proximity; this can even be further upgraded with that much more ease, as the state’s border with Bangladesh is almost entirely in plain areas 

The trade with Tripura in particular shows a positive Balance of Trade for Bangladesh. This imparts attractiveness and logical edge to promotion of further links with a market in geographical proximity and more importantly with opportunity for Bangladesh to be competitive.

Development of transit and trans-shipment facilities via Bangladesh and Tripura can help that country too access and derive further economic advantages from a market that is estimated to be Rs. 20,000 crores (US $ 5 bn or 5 times the trade deficit of Bangladesh with India). 

The eventual expansion of potential trade and commerce opportunities would require improved infrastructure on both sides of the international border. Even for Bangladesh, it would be most effective and economic to improve upon links in proximity of Tripura that already exist, require less investment and are in easily accessible plain areas of Bangladesh.
 
Besides discovering of abundant natural gas by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Tripura already become the second natural rubber capital in India after Kerala. India’s first bamboo park and country’s second rubber park have already being set up in Tripura.
 
 
RUBBER
 
Tripura has the second largest rubber cultivation area after Kerala where natural rubber is cultivated, with around 60,000 hectares producing about 26,000 tonnes of natural rubber in 2010-11. According to the Rubber Board assessment total potential for plantation of rubber in the state is more than 1,00,000 hectares

After the rubber park in Kerala’s Irapuram, India’s second industrial rubber park has been set up in Bodhungnagar in western Tripura at a cost of Rs.23 crore to boost the country's elastic polymer industry and to utilise the resources available in the state. At least 20 rubber-based industrial projects would be set up in the park in the next few years.

Natural Rubber based activities has already been declared as thrust sector because of its special significance for the state. Added benefits under the Tripura Incentive Scheme are being provided for setting up of natural rubber based industries in Tripura. 

 
BAMBOO
 
Gifted with rich and diverse resource, and traditional usage, more than  25 bamboo species are available in Tripura out of 130 species in India.
 
Tripura is about to make the most of this natural wealth - by developing India's first bamboo park. The idea is to help expand industries based on this produce, also known as 'green gold'. The bamboo park would be able to produce hundreds of value-added items and also facilitate export of bamboo products.

The bamboo park is being created at a cost of Rs.30 crore (about USD 6 million), at Radhakishore Nagar, near Bodhjunjnagar industrial growth centre in western Tripura, 15 km north of state capital Agartala.

Tripura is also established many centres for commercial utilization of bamboo for crafts, mats, incense sticks. Industrial Products based on Bamboo can be developed. 
         
Tripura Cane and Bamboo handicrafts are considered to be among the best in the country for the exquisite designs, wide range of products and artistic appeal. This industry has a great export potential as well. Steps have been taken to organize/ develop this industry on modern lines. Not only that, in view of availability of large bamboo resources in the State, industrial products like bamboo tiles, laminated products, ply, boards, corrugated sheets etc can be produced, which can be used as building materials, for furniture manufacture etc. Studies have shown that Bamboo is a very effective substitute for timber and is, in fact, better in many respects.

The State Government has launched the Tripura Bamboo Mission. The Mission is being operationalised through Private Public Partnership framework.
 
NATURAL GAS
 
The northeastern state of Tripura has perhaps the world's highest success rate when it came to yielding natural gas.

The ONGC has been striking gas in one out of every two wells drilled in Tripura, while the average ratio worldwide is one out of every three wells. Since 1972, ONGC has drilled 176 wells in Tripura, bordering Bangladesh. Of these, 82 are yielding gas in 11 fields.

Currently ONGC is producing 3.95 million cubic metres gas per day and it would be doubled (6.35 million cubic metres) within the next three years.
 
Natural gas can be utilised in setting up of power projects, industrial units, fertilizer plants, brick kilns besides to supply households for domestic purposes and to vehicles as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). 

 
TEA
 
The agro-climatic conditions in Tripura are suitable for development of tea plantation. The soils are generally fertile, without any major problems of toxicities or deficiencies. The average annual rainfall is about 210 cm. with a fairly even distribution over the year. Tripura has a history of tea plantations going back to 1916. In fact, Tripura is categorized as a traditional tea-growing state - with about 60 Tea Estates and 6,000 small tea growers, producing about 10.00 million kg. of tea every year. This makes Tripura the 5th largest, among the 14 tea producing states, after Assam, West Bengal, and Tamilnadu and Kerala. There is a considerable scope to increase the area under tea plantation as well as productivity. 

The tea currently produced in Tripura is recognised for its good blending qualities. Some plantations in the state are going for organic production of tea. There is considerable scope for investment in tea sector in the State, specially for blending unit.
 
Tripura has already started exporting tea in many countries.
 
FOOD PROCESSING
 
Major fruit crops available in Tripura include, Pineapple (1,16,894 Ton Per Annum), Jackfruit (2,49,265 TPA), Orange (19,797 TPA), Cashew (1,960 TPA), Coconut (3,216 TPA). 

Tripura’s Pineapples and Oranges are famous across the country for their unique flavour and organic nature of produce.

Major spicesavailable in Tripura include, Ginger (4170.42 MT), Turmeric (3,381 MT), Chilli (2,085 MT), Black Pepper (41.15 MT) 

The agro-climatic conditions are favorable for growing various fruit and horticultural crops. The products of Tripura are well known both in table as well as processed form. There is scope for expansion of area under any specific variety, if required. A modern Food Park is being set up near Agartala, to give a fillip to this sector. An Agri Export Zone for Pineapple is also being developed. There is a vast potential for setting up of food processing units in the State.

There is ample scope for area expansion under organic spices cultivation in Tripura. Major spices include Ginger, Turmeric, Chilli, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Tezpatta.
 
At least 266 medicinal plants with 68 species of trees, 71 herbs, 39 shrub and 88 climbers are available in Tripura. The Tripura government has constituted the Medicinal Plant Board of Tripura. 
         
ECO-TOURISM

Tripura is one of the global bio-diversity hotspots with diverse kind of biological and cultural variance.Great potential for development of Eco Tourism in the designated protected areas of Trishna, Sepahijala and Roa and many other places.

 
The Tripura Government have introduced Industrial Policy 2007 to drive industrial growth offering incentives on different items, supply of quality power, improved infrastructure facilities etc. To remove existing barriers and for creation of congenial and hassle-free investment climate and also to boost investor confidence, a series of pro-active measures are proposed.

The aim of this policy is to provide a comprehensive, investor friendly environment for ensuring rapid and sustainable industrial development of Tripura and through this to generate additional employment opportunities.

Interested people and entrepreneurs can avail more details from the websites of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (www.tidc.in) and Tripura Industries and Commerce Department (www.tripuraindustries.in).
 
Compiled By : Sujit Chakraborty (Mr Chakraborty is a senior Journalist based in India’s Tripura State, associated with IANS (site www.ians.in AND www.ianshindi.in). He can be contacted : agt.sujit@gmail.com)
 

 

Source : Government documents.

 

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