Agartala: A 36-yr-old bamboo technologist, Samir Jamatia of Garjee village of Udaipur in Gomati district has already supplied 600 kg bamboo leaf tea to Europe through an exporter of Delhi during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Having trained at the Nanjing University of East China, Samir has been struggling for the last 10 years to popularise different items of bamboo in the country, and tea of bamboo leaves is one of them. He was picked by a Botany professor of Chittagong University after matriculation for his interest in bamboo-based livelihood in the way back in 2008.
Samir was sponsored by Nanjing University where he obtained a diploma in bamboo technology and served there almost a year to upscale his knowledge. “I returned to India because Northeast is the home of as many as 90 species of bamboo – I thought I could do better in the motherland. Unfortunately, still I am struggling to become an entrepreneur,” Samir rued.
He said bamboo leaf tea is popular not only in China and other neighbouring countries of South Asia, also in Ghana and Europe. In spite of the huge potential of setting up a large scale bamboo leaf tea processing unit in Himalayan states of India, it has not got much attention at policy level. Before starting his small venture here, Samir tried to set up units in Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram.
According to Samir, bamboo in the northeast is wild in nature and has no use of fertilizer, which is actually the triggering point for international buyers. They collect the mature leaves at the bottom of the bamboo and dried them in a special arrangement to make tea leaves. Bamboo leaves are rich in antioxidants, antibiotics, and anticancer drugs. Bamboo leaf tea also has many other beneficial properties in protecting hair, skin, and teeth, helping to strengthen bones and teeth, he attributed.