Kendu leaf (Tendu Leaf, Diospyros Melanoxylon ) is a nationalized product like Bamboo and Sal seed. Kenduleaf is one of the most important non-wood forest products of Odisha. Due to its unique characteristics, viz. Matching aroma with Tobacco, Hygroscopic nature of dry leaves to withstand crack, Thinness and pliability, gradual combustion, resistance to fungus attack etc. these valuable leaves are used for wrapping Bidis.
Odisha is the third largest producer of kendu leaf next to M.P. and Chhattisgarh. The annual production of Bidi Leaf in Odisha is around 4.5 to 5 lakhs quintal, which is about 20% of the countries annual production. Kendu leaf is available in 50 Sub Division of all the 30 districts. But Sundergarh, Anugul, Deogarh , Kalahandi, keonjhar, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Malkanagri, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Baragarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Nuapada Districts cover maximum Kendu leaf growing areas. The kendu leaf of the Balangir District is traded as the best kendu leaf through out India.
The Uniqueness of Odisha's Tendu (kendu) leaf is in processed form whereas the rest of the states in India produces in Phal Form. In processed form the Kendu leafs are graded into different qualities that are Grade I to Grade IV as per the specification of color, texture, size and body condition of the leaf and packets will be done by taking Five Kilograms as a Bundle. Twelve Bundles of Five Kilogram of each are packed in a gunny bag and 100 such bag equivalent to sixty quintals make one truckload. Where as no gradation is done in respect of PHAL Leaf and only loose leafs are packed tightly inside the gunny bag.
The kendu leaf is collected and processed by kendu leaf wing of the forest and marketed by the OFDC after its nationalisation since 1973. After deregulation of Phal Kendu leaf in Malkanagiri District Jeypore KL Division and Nabarangpur District from 2014 & 2013 crop year respectively. Working of Process KL in Keogan & M. Rampur KL range of Bhawanipatna Division has also been deregulated from November 2018, OFDC is marketing Kendu leafs of those areas which are collected by the KL organisation.
Kendu Leaf a seasonal operation involving huge number of labourers (both skilled and non-skilled) during the season of operation. After collection of Leaves, 20 leaves of appropriate grade are bundled (known as Kerry) are processed by the Trained Worker and after processing stored in Phadi House in a budle of 5 KG each. Kendu leaf in Odisha is sold by a standard weight which constitute one lot is equal to 100 bags and each bag contains 12 bundle each of 5 kg. This means one lot of processed kenduleaf generally constitutes 60 quintals of kendu leaf, the lots are formed and delivered to OFDC for marketing.
Selling of Kenduleafs is done at Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur as per Notified Annual Sale Program. One who is interested to participate in the kendu leaf tenders must have to register with the OFDC limited. After paying a fixed amount of Rs 10,000 in the form of the bank draft drawn in favour of OFDC Ltd from any nationalized bank payable at Bhubaneswar.
The quantity sold and its sale value realised during last five years are shown below :
|Year||Quantity delivered to OFDC (in Lakh Qntl)||Quantity sold(in Lakh Qntls)||Sale Value [ in Crore]|