Environment and Development | January 2015
The collection and sale of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) forms a signiﬁcant part of the livelihoods of forest-fringe communities in India, with an estimated 10-27 crore people involved in it. The leaf of tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), which is used to roll beedis (Indian cigarettes), is one of the most socially and economically important NTFPs. Its collection provides employment to at least 75 lakh leaf pluckers, largely in central India. Madhya Pradesh produces the largest volume of tendu leaf in the country, accounting for more than 25% of the national production.