Tripura to commercial produce bamboo shoots
Agartala: Considering the growing demand for bamboo shoots as an Asian delicacy in starred hotels, the Tripura government is planning to commercially produce the vegetable.
Sources said that the state government had initially selected an area of 60 hectares at Belbari in West Tripura district to cultivate a special variety of bamboo for commercial exploitation.
“The State Bamboo Mission is giving all-out help to the project,” BDO of Jirania block in which the area falls, Argha Saha said.
Indraneel Bhaumik, Associate Professor of Economics in Tripura University says that Tripura is one of the best bamboo producing states in the country.
“If planned and scientific cultivation is started, it would bring a balance to the demand and supply of bamboo and open a new opportunity of import of shoots,” he said.
The mission has decided to cultivate a species found in Thailand – Gendu Calamus – which makes palatable dishes, Saha says.
Sources in the Mission said it had already made a test field of cultivating bamboo shoots at Peratia in Gomati district which emerged as a successful model which would be practiced at Belbari.
The programme manager of Bamboo Mission, Ramnarayan Pande, said self-help groups would be engaged in producing the plants and all technical and monetary helps rendered to them.
A traditional forest vegetable in China for more than 2,500 years, bamboo shoots are not only delicious, but also rich in nutrients, and rank among the five most popular healthcare foods in the world.
In Japan, the bamboo shoot is known as the king of forest vegetables.
The shoots are eaten very widely by the Mongoloid people in the whole Northeast and of late are also being widely consumed by the non-Mongoloid people.
The properties of bamboo shoots were recorded in the book of Compendium of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
“Modern research finds that the bamboo shoot has a number of medicinal benefits, from cancer prevention and weight loss to improving appetite and digestion. It is also low in sugar and therefore can be used for treating hypertension, hyperlipemia and hyperglycemia,” researchers said.
Japanese scientists recently discovered that bamboo shoots contain anti-cancer agents and making them a regular part of diet effectively eliminates the free radicals that produce dangerous carcinogens.
Bamboo does not contain toxic substances and its products are made in strict accordance with the food safety standards, so it is an ideal resource for natural foods, researchers said.
Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts are the edible shoots of many bamboo species which are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths.
Tripura is one of the major bamboo producing states in India.
Bamboo grows all across the state of Tripura covering over nearly 10 to 15 different species.
Last year, two lakh thirty thousand MT of bamboo were grown in the state which reduced to two lakh eleven thousand this year due to increased demand of people for consumption.