Umerkote: Livelihood of tribals in Umerkote and other parts of Nabarangpur district hinges on forests and minor forest produce. According to the seasons, collection of minor forest produce changes and so does their seasonal livelihood.
Bamboo shoots have now emerged as a good source of earning for many tribal families. This business booms particularly in monsoon as bamboo shoots are available aplenty in forests during this time of the year.
Bamboo shoots have high demand in the market as people buy it for its culinary value. Reports said, after farming work, tribal men and even women go to Podagoda forest and other forests where they collect bamboo shoots.
“After collecting bamboo shoots, we process them into smaller sizes. They are sold in local markets. A cupful of bamboo shoots is sold for Rs 15/20 in the market,” some tribals said. A bamboo shoot collector earns somewhere around Rs 200 to 300 per day.
“People say, bamboo shoots have high medicinal values. These contain calcium and help in digestion. People love to eat it whenever it is found in the market,” they said.
A variety of cuisines are prepared from bamboo shoots. Tribals said that bamboo shoots have potential for livelihood creation. They suggested that poor tribals can make it a full-time livelihood option if bamboo plantation is promoted in the forested pockets of the state.
Environmentalist Pradip Mishra said that with creation of bamboo forests, more tribals will have the scope of creating income for them. The government should come out to their help in the matter of livelihood creation, he added.
It was pointed out that bamboo cultivation is promoted in most parts of northeastern states where tribals and locals have got good sources of livelihood from bamboo shoots.
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