Hogla (Typha elephantina Roxb) is an abundant NWFP species found in the mangroves and tidal forests of coastal belts adjoining the Sundarbans. Hogla leaves are woven into mats used for beds, to dry crop on and for prayer mats. They are also used for making storage containers and hut walls. Young succulent leaves are a forage crop palatable to animals. Hogla pollen grains are collected and sold in the markets or used to make home-made cakes.
There are no specific rules for cutting hogla. After harvesting, hogla leaves are gathered, bundled and transported by head load or by boat. Standing hogla leaves are not purchased by the weavers, but by traders. The traders then harvest, transport, and dry the leaves and sell them in the local market. Consequently, weavers buy the raw materials from the market at higher prices. Weaving is mainly done by women. Men purchase the raw materials, splitting and extracting the mid-rib and selling the finished product in the local market. Hogla collection, transport, trading, weaving and the marketing of finished products provide a source of income and livelihood to the poor people in and around the Sundarbans.
A systematic study of hogla should be undertaken, examining its production, cultivation and management, in order to ensure a sustained yield sufficient to support the rural cottage industries dependent on it.