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NTFP as a source of livelihood

Besides the most important NTFP of Tripura being muli bamboo, thatch grass used to be a very important NTFP of Tripura during Maharaja’s time and afterwards. However, with the advent of alternative materials for roofing and reduction in area under thatch grass, its use has declined.

Besides bamboo, broom grass (Thysanolaena maxima), Gandhaki (Homalomena aromatica), Alakushi (Mucuna pruriens), Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum), are occupying the major space in NTFP trade in Tripura of late. Besides plantation crops like rubber, which is a relatively recent introduction in Tripura, traditionally, forest produces and plantation crops like myrobalans, cane, coffee, pepper, chalmugra, diascorea, lemon grass, cashew nuts, ginger, turmeric, betel leaves, charcoal, medicinal and aromatic plants, orchids, etc were perceived to be having great utility. Under the category of medicinal plants, Amla (Emblica officinalis), Hartaki (Terminalia chebula), Bahera (Terminalia bellerica), Sarpagandha (Rouvolfia serpentina), Strichnox nuxvomica are important from the economic point of view. Besides them, importance of other NTFPs such as Honey, Lac, Tapioca, Udal bark, Kumira (Careya arborea) leaves and Dhup resins is also realized. Natural rubber in the form of latex or sheet is another marketable plantation product from Tripura.

Other NTFPs
Besides bamboo and cane, there is a large number of NTFPs that remain underexplored. As indicated below, the potential of the NTFPs other than bamboo and cane has been discussed so that extensive efforts can be taken to develop these NTFPs for large scale employment generation for the economically weaker sections in the State. The NTFPs that offer great potential are:
  • Large cardamom
  • Gandhaki
  • Orchids
  • Honey
  • Other medicinal and aromatic plants
  • Agar
  • Incense stick (agarbatti)
  • Broom grass
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