The wood-based handicraft items of Konkan region, particularly the Sindhudurg District of Maharashtra, India are well appreciated all over and have earned a special recognition for the super craftsmanship of the artisans. The skills of the artisans are basically traditional and have enough scope for its development. But lack of proper guidance and assistance the total sector is now on the way to lose its credential. On the contrary, the handicrafts sector is also playing major role in State Revenue Collection but appropriate action towards promotion of this sector has not been considered on priority basis. The sector has enough scope to generate sufficient employment opportunities, not only in the area of wood based but also in case of bamboo-based crafts.
Some of the Faculty Members of Ratnagiri Sub-Centre have executed major Research Projects with financial assistance from various Funding Agencies such as Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India (MoEF, New Delhi), D.R.D.A., Govt. of Maharashtra, D.C.(Handicraft), Govt. of India.
The Faculty Members of Ratnagiri Sub-Centre have been involved in various research and extension activities in Konkan region. A few Non-Governmental Organisations are deriving benefits of expertise available at Sub-Centre. Konkan Bamboo and Cane Development Centre (KONBAC) along with the technical inputs from Faculty Members of Ratnagiri Sub-Centre, University of Mumbai has initiated community based bamboo development programme. This work involving rural communities relates to (a) development of a community-based bamboo demonstration model in addressing poverty alleviation and environmental protection; and (b) improving the institute capacity relevant to bamboo plantation and production, and to enhance the bamboo plantation and utilization for poverty alleviation and environmental protection in Konkan region through technical consultation, training and demonstration. The photographs shown here depict some of the bamboo based activities conducted in the said Project.
Work relating to conservation and development of sacred groves, medicinal plant-based community development and agro-biodiversity conservation is also underway, with active involvement of M.Sc. Students of Ratnagiri Sub-Centre.