Lokman Hossain from Khagrachari: A local ethnic minority Nripen Chakma in Dighinala upazila of Khagrachari said making a joke, “We eat bush (bamboo), we give bush (bamboo), indicating the consumption of bamboo buds as vegetable. It is worth mentioning that the hilly people are at the moment facing severe food crisis.
People belonging to ethnic minority communities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) region have been eating bamboo shoots as a part of their daily food causing depletion in the bamboo production and short supply to Karnaphuly Paper Mills.
It is known to all that almost 90 percent bamboo grows in three hill districts. But the bamboo production has alarmingly declined in the recent years due to the consumption of bamboo buds by the indigenous minorities of hill.
According to the local sources, that a total of 1,00000 bamboo shoots worth about Tk 10 lakh are consumed by ethnic minority communities daily as alternative food due to the food crisis.
The shoots locally known as ‘BanshKoral’ take the second place of their diet after rice. They eat the bamboo shoots not because of food crisis but most members of ethnic communities cannot afford expenses of fish or meat.
The koral are being sold in the remote markets of Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban districts at Tk 4-5 per bundle.
Local leaders alleged that due to extensive use in the food, price of bamboo saplings often shot up to Tk 10 per piece in the peak period of planting. Echoed the reality, the chairman of Rangamati hill district council, Brisho Ketu Chakma urged concerned authority to come forward to provide the marginal members of the ethnic communities necessary support to address the problem.
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