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Bamboo flowering creates panic among tribals

Staff Reporter

It triggers diversion of energy of plant to flower production and complete cessation of vegetative growth


Bamboo is a major source of income for the inhabitants of Tumba jungle

Earlier, rat population had increased after flowering that led to destruction of fields


BERHAMPUR: A large number of bamboo bushes in the Tumba jungle in Berhampur forest division have started to flower.

It has created a sense of panic and apprehension in the minds of tribals and others living in the area.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Berhampur, A.K. Jena said they have located more than 800 mature bamboo bushes in the Tumba jungle, which have flowered. Usually bamboo bushes flower at an interval of 45 to 120 years. And mass flowering of bamboo occurs in an area. The vegetative growth of the bamboo plants stop after the flowering, which means death of the bamboo bush.

So, it is feared that this flowering of bamboo trees in Tumba area may mean the end of bamboo bushes in the jungle. Bamboo happens to be a major source of income for the tribal living in the area. According to Mr. Jena, flowering triggers diversion of all energy of the plant to flower production and complete cessation of vegetative growth. According to Chandradhwja Sahu, a localite of the area, it may mean end of bamboo presence in this jungle. But Mr. Jena said after the flowering of all the bamboo bushes ends, they would make efforts for bamboo plantation in the area.

The local tribals feel mass flowering of bamboo plants have direct as well as indirect economic and ecological impacts. Many say it hints at the fact that a famine may occur in the area. But the forest officials said increase in bamboo fruits after flowering in the forests may increase rat population. Usually in the past the increased rodent population was related to loss of food grain and increase in diseases among humans, which has led to this belief, said Mr Jena. But it is for sure death of bamboo bushes after flowering would make tribals lose their major building material and a source of livelihood.

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