Eucalyptus is one of three similar genera that are commonly referred to as " eucalypts". The Indian pulp and the paper industry has agro forestry roots and strong backward linking with the farming community, to receive from whom wood which is a key raw material and  sourced from the same. India is a wood fiber deficient country. Inadequate raw material availability in the country is a major constraint for the domestic paper industry which impact its cost competitiveness.

The Forest Development Corporation and the industry worked with farmers to create a sustain wood resources base of more than three million hectares of plantation, under agro/ farm forestry. More than 70% of these plantations is eucalyptus.

Multiplication of clonal plants to raise eucalyptus agro/farm forestry plantation, is done with root trainer technology, which promotes lateral root system to enable root system to go only up to 1.5-2.0 meter soil depth. Industry and FDCs ( Fix dose drug combination) in genetic improvement and development of highly productive and diseases-resistant which quadrupled plantation productivity making it visible for the farmers.

The report of "Centre of Science and Environment (CSE)" states that eucalyptus plantation yield more net income annually to farmers than almost 60-70% of the agriculture crops. The water for plantation has been found to be 785 liters/kg of total biomass, which is one of the lowest if compared with tree species such as Acacia (1,323 liters/kg), Dalbergia (1,484 liters/kg) and so on.

The Karnataka government banned growing of eucalyptus plantations in the private land in the state. The similar move has been started in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These actions would have severe social environment, Industry, and consequences and would also go against the objectives of National Forest Policy.

 

It is then, critical that eucalyptus plantations are raised, given its significant impact on wood availability, livelihood generation and carbon sequestration that address the challenge of global warming and climate change. 

PAYAL GUPTA
KRISHI JAGRAN
NEW DELHI 

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