, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 315–318 | Cite as

Estimating the Size of Tendu Leaf and Bidi Trade Using a Simple Back-of-the-Envelop Method

  • Pranay Lal


Since independence from the British in 1947, India has relied heavily on forest resources, including extraction of tendu leaves, to provide livelihood options for its marginalised tribal and forest-dependent communities. Tendu leaves are used to make bidis, an indigenous leaf-rolled cigarette made from coarse uncured tobacco, tied with a coloured string at one end. It is widely smoked in the Indian subcontinent and is gaining popularity globally, especially in USA, Germany, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Japan (Tobacco Board of India 2010). Bidis are harmful and pose a serious challenge to the health of youth globally and especially in the US where a health advisory warns of the potential harm (CDC

Curiously the use of tendu to make bidis is more recent, with the accidental discovery of tendu as the most suitable leaf to wrap tobacco and make bidis. The tendu tree (Diospyros...


Forest Department Joint Forest Management Illicit Trade Tobacco Flavour Railway Sleeper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank Nevin Wilson, Director, The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, New Delhi for thoughtful conversations and for permission to research and publish this paper. I thank Tushar Palorkar for diligently checking and validating the estimates derived and Deepak Tamang for his support to preparing the figure.


  1. All India Bidi Industry Federation. 2000. Representation made to public hearings on the WHO framework convention on tobacco control, Geneva 12–13 October 2000. as viewed on June 11, 2011.
  2. Anonymous. 1967. Indian beedi and cigar industry—a outlook. Publication Associations Journal, Mumbai, 326.Google Scholar
  3. Arnold, J.E.M. 1995. Socio-economic benefits and issues in non-wood forest product use. Report of the international expert consultation of non-wood forest products. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  4. Bahuguna, V.K. 2000. Forests in the economy of the rural poor: An estimation of the dependency level. Ambio 29: 126–129.Google Scholar
  5. Bidi Tobacco Research. 2002. Fifty year of tobacco research. Anand: Anand Agricultural University.Google Scholar
  6. CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India). 2008. Maharashtra state audit report (civil performance)20062007. New Delhi: CAG.Google Scholar
  7. Directorate of Tobacco Development. 2010. Annual tobacco production data (1975–2009). Chennai: Government of India.Google Scholar
  8. FAO. 2005. Global forest resources assessment—country report 1. Rome: Forestry Department.Google Scholar
  9. FSLG (Forest Governance Learning Group, India). Undated. NTFP enterprise and forest governance: tendu leaves. New Delhi: FSLG.Google Scholar
  10. Giriappa, S. 1987. Bidi rolling in rural development. New Delhi: Daya Publishing House.Google Scholar
  11. Gupta, T. and A. Guleria 1982. Some economic and management aspects of a non-wood forests product in India: Tendu leaves. CMA monograph no. 88. New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  12. Gupta, P.C., and S. Asma (eds.). 2008. Bidi smoking and public health. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.Google Scholar
  13. ILO. 2003. Employment trends in the tobacco sector: Challenges and prospects, 89. Report for discussion at the Tripartite meeting on the future of employment in the Tobacco sector, Geneva.Google Scholar
  14. International Institute for Population Sciences, Ministry of Health, Family Welfare. 2010. Global adult tobacco survey India 2009–2010. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  15. Joshi, S. 2003. Super market. Down to Earth. New Delhi: Society for Environment Communication.Google Scholar
  16. Kumar, N. 2000. India: alleviating poverty through forest development, evaluation country case study series. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  17. Kushwaha, R.S., and V. Kumar. 2007. Economics of protected areas and its effect on biodiversity. New Delhi: APH Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  18. Lal, P. 2009. Bidi—a short history. Current Science 96: 1335–1336.Google Scholar
  19. Lele, S., M. Patanaik, and N.D. Rai. 2010. NTFPs in India-rhetoric and reality. In Wild product governance: Finding policies that work for non-timber forest products, ed. S.A. Laird, R. McLain, and R.P. Wynberg, 94–96. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  20. Lingaraj, B.P. 1980. Production and inventory planning in the beedi industry. Hanover: The Institute of Management Sciences.Google Scholar
  21. Mahapatra, R. 2010. How government is subverting forest right act. Down to Earth, November 15. New Delhi: Society for Environmental Communications.Google Scholar
  22. Ministry of Environment and Forests. 2010. Report of the Committee on Forest Rights Act to the Joint Committee of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Government of India ( As viewed on June 11, 2011.
  23. Ministry of Labour. 2000. Annual report 1999–2000, 109. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  24. MPFDC (Madhya Pradesh State Minor Forest Produce (Trading and Development) Coop Federation Ltd). 2011. As viewed on June 11, 2011.
  25. Pallavi, A. 2010. Forest fires singe Nagzira sanctuary. Down to Earth. New Delhi: Society for Environmental Communication.Google Scholar
  26. Planning Commission. 2001. Expert Group on poverty estimation 1999–2000. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  27. Planning Commission. 2011. Mid term appraisal for eleventh five year plan 2007–2012. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Rajarathinam, A., R.S. Parmar, and P.R. Vaishnav. 2010. Estimating models for area, production and productivity trends of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) crop for Anand region of Gujarat State, India. Journal of Applied Sciences 10: 2419–2425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Saha, S. 2002. Anthropogenic fire regime in a tropical deciduous forest of central India. Current Science 82: 101–104.Google Scholar
  30. Saha, S., and H.F. Howe. 2003. Species composition and fire in a dry deciduous forest. Ecology 84: 3118–3123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Saxena, N.C. 2003. Livelihood diversification and non-timber forest products in Orissa: Wider lessons on the scope for policy change? Working paper 223. Overseas Development Institute: London, UK.Google Scholar
  32. Saxena, N.C. 2010. Forest, people and profit-net equations for sustainability. New Delhi: Planning Commission.Google Scholar
  33. Shekar-Reddy, M., and C. Venkataraman. 2002. Inventory of aerosol and sulphur dioxide emissions from India. Part II—biomass combustion. Atmospheric Environment 36: 699–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Singh, A.K. 1997. Land use, environment and economic growth. New Delhi: MD Publication House.Google Scholar
  35. Singh, P.P. 2008. Exploring biodiversity and climate change benefits of community-based forest management. Global Environmental Change 18: 468–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Srivastava, K.S. 2011. Price tag for tendu, bamboo. Down to Earth, May 15. New Delhi: Society for Environmental Communications.Google Scholar
  37. Sunley, E. M. 2008. The tax treatment of bidis. Paris: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).Google Scholar
  38. The Economist. 2006. India’s naxalites—a spectre haunting. August 17, London.Google Scholar
  39. The Supreme Court of India. 1996. Pradeep Krishen vs Union of India and Others. Writ Petition (Civil) No. 262 of 1995, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  40. The World Bank. 2006. India: Unlocking opportunities for forest-dependent people in India, vol. 1. New Delhi: World Bank.Google Scholar
  41. Tobacco Board of India. 2010. Annual report and accounts of the tobacco board (2009–2010). India: Guntur.Google Scholar
  42. WHO. 1997. Tobacco or health: A global status report, 7. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  43. World Tobacco. 2001. World tobacco report, 550–571. 4th ed. Redhill: Market Tracking International Ltd.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)New DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations