Beedi is tied or wrapped tobacco leaves or wrapped made into a cigarette. They are tied at one end with string or adhesive to make a mini or thin sized cigarette. Popular in India the traditional method common is practiced in Sri Lanka, United States, and North America.
This cottage industry is a major employer of labor in India. With over 12,000grams of tobacco flake, 30,000 beedies produced every month the industry is huge.
History is traced to 17th century India with commercial popularity in early 1930s. Commercial production attract regulation similar to westernized tobacco cigarettes. Associated to low net worth social and practicable home-based, small scale production or industrial production.
Smokers are susceptible to oral cancers, risk of lung or heart disease, chronic bronchitis. This is because of the presence of tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine in the local cigarette.
- oral cancers
- risk of lung
- heart disease
- chronic bronchitis
Things to consider Beedi Making
Large scale commercial beedi making requires good plan. Things to consider are land, building, cost of plant, salary and wages. Others are breaking even, profitability analysis, sourcing raw materials, utilities and overhead. More are type of plant/machinery, cost of production, total working capital.
Things to consider
- plan the business
- cost of plant
- salary and wages
- breaking even
- profitability analysis
- sourcing raw materials
- utilities and overhead
- type of plant/machinery
- cost of production
- total working capital
Raw Ingredients in Beedi
The main ingredient is tobacco flakes wrapped in tendu leaf tied with a string. Other ingredients include different spices, herbs, greens, betel nuts mix.
- tobacco flakes
- tendu leaf
- different spices
- betel nuts mix
Overview of tendu leaves
The tendu leaf is known as Diospyros melanoxylon is found in abundant quantity in India. The popular shrub used in the manufacturing of bidi cigarettes. In India there is state monopoly of tendu leaves with sales to distributors and manufacturers of bidi product.
Tobacco product cigarette specifications
Standard requirements for tobacco cigarettes focus on filler mixture, blend adjuncts wrapped, non-filter or filter cigarette. Other terminology includes loose shorts, paper, leaf, length, filling density. More standardization freedom from mould or beetle attack or burning quality.
Once the tobacco crop is cured the tendu leaves are collected made into bundles and dried for 6 days. Employees in bidi industry use bidi labor or bidi-rollers. They are predominantly women who work 8 hours shifts while manufacturing process is manual.it takes 3 hours of cut tobacco leaves to produce 100 beedies. Other labor include packers, furnace-workers, leaves suppliers, clerks, sweepers and tobacco distributors.
- leaves suppliers
- tobacco distributors
Tobacco blend include oriental tobacco, burley, Virginia, flue-cured tobacco. Each have distinct blend like Virginia cigarette, blended cigarette, air-cured or dark cigarette.
Tobacco production starts with the cultivation of tobacco pant. The tobacco seed is planted 15cm in seedbed in a fertile field. It takes 3 months to full maturity before harvesting of whole plant the curing.
Curing depends on type of tobacco product, quality or method. Curing methods include open-air curing, sun-cured, flue-cured, air-cured techniques. Next the sand, stones leaf, stem are separated to remove non-tobacco materials. The tobacco is either blended or flaked depending on type of cigarette.
Effective marketing strategy includes branding, cigarette length, MRP. Include the date of manufacturer, statutory warnings, logo and provide retail packaging. Provide tests for sampling, use quality reagents, total length, filer plug, tobacco rod. Sell product to local merchants, grocery shops, supermarkets, hotels.