Poor mahua yield a blow to tribals

Collecting and selling seeds is a way of life for Lambadas living near Narsapur forest area

By Author  |  Published: 14th Jun 2018  12:23 amUpdated: 13th Jun 2018  11:16 pm
Narsapur forest
Edible oil made from mahua seeds has great demand across the nation.

Narsapur: Lambadas living on the fringe of Narsapur forest are a disappointed lot since thousands of mahua (Madhuca Indica and Mentha Longifolia) trees in the forest area have got poor yield this year.

Collecting mahua seeds is a way of life for these tribals since ancient days. Since the edible oil made from these seeds is in great demand across the nation, traders from nearby town arrive at this village during May and June. Mahua seeds are among the best non-timber produce they collect from forest during summer to earn livelihood without harming the forest.

Speaking to Telangana Today, a 60-year-old tribal woman Banoth Chatri, a resident of Lakshmapur tanda, said that they used to earn over Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 during the summer season by collecting and selling the seeds to traders, but they had lost the revenue this year owing to poor yield.

Surprisingly, mahua trees got good flowering this year. However, they failed to transform into yield. Not only tribals, dozens of others who used to purchase and transport the seeds to other parts of the nation, were also rendered jobless during the summer.

“It will have a great impact on the economy of tribal hamlets since they will lose purchasing power,” B Lakshmaiah, a trader from Narsapur, said.

The tribals use the money earned from selling seeds to purchase clothes, books, stationery for their kids ahead of the new academic year besides investing on agriculture. The tribals are visibly disappointed with the poor yield. District Forest Officer M Padmajarani said that they would look into the issue.