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In Tripura, bamboo flowers into rice

After cookies, comes exotic variety of rice from bamboo

Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb with a packet of bamboo rice

Tanmoy Chakraborty

Agartala, Oct 6: After the smart bamboo cookie, comes bamboo rice from Tripura Bamboo Mission.
Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday launched the exotic variety of rice derived from flower blossoms.
The bamboo tree flowers only at the stage before it dies. Bamboo rice is a seed that is formed from the flower of the bamboo tree before the end of its lifespan.

Milled from bamboo flowers

Launching this unique product, Deb said the rice, milled from bamboo flowers, is economically profitable as it has more medicinal properties as well as nutritional value.

“By producing this rice one can become self-sufficient. Entrepreneurs need to come forward in marketing this rice as this rice has more medicinal properties as well as nutritional value. For the first time in the state, an initiative has been taken to market bamboo rice by processing it from bamboo flowers,” he said.

Rich nutritional value

“This rice helps control blood sugar, cholesterol and fat and has more protein than other rice varieties. The state government has taken the initiative to market this rice as Tripura cultivates enough bamboo,” Deb said.

The bamboo rice is being manufactured from muli bamboo or terai bamboo (Melocanna bambusoides) which grows naturally, by the Tripura Bamboo Mission. Eighty per cent bamboo which grow in the state are the muli variety.

Plea to farmers against wastage

The director of Tripura Bamboo Mission Prashant Goyal told NewsFileonline this rice are basically seeds of the bamboo flower. “We get a handsome quantity of seeds from each bamboo plant. This rice is very rich in medicinal value. Packed with vitamins, it can fetch around Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 per kg.”

Urging people not to waste the bamboo flower, Goyal said the muli bamboo flower is rare and so is the product.

“You can’t manufacture it artificially. The purpose behind the launch is to make people aware that they should not waste the bamboo flower. Several bamboo farmers are not aware of this. They can sell the produce for a huge profit. From a single bunch of bamboo plant, 2-3kg rice can be produced,” Goyal said.

Currently, Tripura grows 21 species of bamboo in 3,246 sq. km area of forests and planned forestry. As additional measures, the state government has already taken initiatives to boost bamboo plantations on the riverside, roadside and fallow lands.

A former journalist with The Telegraph, Northeast, loves the Northeast and its stories. Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Tripura Central University. Born and brought up in Agartala, Tripura, and is fluent in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi.