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Wood Worth

Last updated: Feb, 2014

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Imli Toshi Namo, a young innovator who grew up in Nagaland, spent his time roaming around the sprawling bamboo plantations and observing the grass being harvested and processed, before it was shaped into furniture or items of handicraft.

In 2006, Imli designed Arulepsa, the prototype of an integrated, precision-controlled, bamboo processing machine. Arulepsa processes five feet of highly finished bamboo per minute. That is approximately 25 times the speed of manual processing. "Even then, the finished bamboo that Arulepsa produces is far more uniform, better finished, well-planned and surfaced," according to Imli.

The prototype and its improvement cost him a total of INR 300,000 (US$ 6,725). He received funding from the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and the National Bamboo Mission (NBM).

Imli says the first of the new machines should roll out by August this year. He is thinking of pricing them at INR 80,000 (US$ 1,800) each.

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