Map of Suitable Timber Species for Various Agro-climatic Zones in Tamil Nadu
This article was shared by the R & B Timbers group from indiatimes.com
COIMBATORE: The Forest College and Research Institute(FCRI), Mettupalayam, has begun preparing an in-depth map of suitable timber species for various agro-climatic zones in Tamil Nadu. The map, which is expected to be completed in two months, will help timber farmers to choose the right species of saplings or young trees to plant in their land. The mapping is done to increase the domestic timber production.
Domestic timber production meets only 30% of demand in our country, forcing to import timber from countries like Myanmar, Ghana and New Zealand. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations report, India's total timber demand across industries stood at 150.09 million m3 (cube), while supply stood at around 45 million m3 or 30%. Of the 45 million m3, 42.77 million m3 came from agroforestry and 3.17 million m3 from timber forests.
"This costs the exchequer dearly. Hence, the ministry of environments and forests has been trying to increase timber production from agro forestry. More so after the government banned removing timber from forests," dean of the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding R S Prashanth said.
However, scientists are finding it an uphill task to get farmers to adopt timber farming. "The main problem is the long rotation involved. The growth period is 20 years and only the next generation sees money from it," FCRI dean K K Suresh said. "So, we suggest mixed plantations of timber with pulpwood and match wood which they can fell in three to four years," he said. "While they will earn money from multiple felling of these trees, they can wait for the timber trees to mature," he said.
There is presently no data on the acreage under timber cultivation, because farmers mostly plant the trees only around their major crops.