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Muli Bamboo

  • 19 Nov 2022
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

Recently, a research study observed and listed a large variety of animal visitors/predators attracted by the fruit and flowers of Muli Bamboo (Melocanna baccifera).

  • The study found that predation is mainly due to the high content of sugars.
  • The highest-ever fruit production in a bamboo clump of this species was also reported.

What is Muli Bamboo?

  • About:
    • Muli is the tropical evergreen species of bamboo.
    • It is the largest fruit-producing bamboo and is native to the northeast India-Myanmar region.
    • It accounts for 90% of the bamboo forests found in the north-eastern state.
    • It can be recognised easily by diffused clump habit.
    • The plant is also grown as an ornamental.
    • ‘Mautam’ is a strange ecological phenomenon associated with Muli Bamboo that occurs once every 48 years.
  • Mautam:
    • ‘Mautam’ means ‘Bamboo death’ in Mizo (mau means bamboo and tam means death).
    • During ‘Mautam’, the cyclical, mass bamboo flowering and large fruit production occurs.
    • This attracts animal visitors/predators including pollen predators (honey bees), fruit predators (millipedes, slugs and snails, fruit borers, monkeys, rats, porcupines, wild boars and palm civets), seedling predators (rabbits, deer), and insect/pest predators (ants, mantis).
    • Black rats greatly relish the fleshy, berry-like fruit of the Muli Bamboo and during this period, the black rats also multiply rapidly, a phenomenon dubbed as ‘Rat Flood.’
      • Once the fruits are gone, they start quickly eating-up standing crops.
      • This leads to famines claiming thousands of human lives.
    • Due to the occurrence of ‘Mautam’, Muli bamboo is locally known as ‘Mautak’.

What are the Initiatives Related to Bamboo?

  • Global Initiatives:
    • World Bamboo Day:
      • It is celebrated every year on 18th September.
    • The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR):
      • It is a multilateral development organisation which promotes environmentally sustainable development using bamboo and rattan.
      • In addition to its Secretariat headquarters in China, INBAR has regional offices in India, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Ecuador.
  • Indian Initiatives:

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)


  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill 2017 permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. However, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree and would be guided by the existing legal restrictions. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, recognises bamboo as a Minor Forest Produce and vests the “right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce” with Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers. Hence, statements 2 and 3 are correct.
  • Therefore, option B is the correct answer.

Source: TH

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