Ingredients of Agro-Forestry Policy in India
J.S. SAMRA, CEO, NRAA
NASC COMPLEX, DPS MARG, PUSA,
NEW DELHI -110012, INDIA
1. Agro-forestry policy is being driven progressively by market forces and
2. The number of timber/agro forestry markets has increased and most of them
lack required infra-structure.
3. Agro forestry provides 65% of wood requirements of India. Remaining 35% is
contributed by import and felling in the forest plantations. Felling in the natural
forest is prohibited.
4. Current wood import bill of India is in the range of 7-8 billion US$ and grew @
19% over the year 2011.
5. Round wood export is not permitted and export of only processed wood is
6. Supreme Court ordered relocation of wood based industry at least 5 KM away
from the forest especially in the North East.
7. There are strict regulations on felling, transit passes and processing which vary
from state to state.
8. Supreme Court also ordered licensing of the existing and new timber industries
in India. Existing industries were licensed based on sale/purchase tax records.
However, all the wood production was not covered under sales tax. Further
expansion of the industry under this licensing regime is also experiencing certain
difficulties. Both these factors are leading to distortions in the competitive market.
9. Forest Survey of India published a report on tree cover outside the notified
forest in India. However, this report has been contested in the matter of detail
which is hindering the progressive policies.
10. There are some forward and backward linking policy issues of the processed
wood which are discouraging agro-forestry.
11. Forest Rights Act 2006 has given some land use titles to tribals and other forest
dwellers. This is going to introduce unique dynamics in the agro-forestry.
12. Recently Minimum Support Price for Non-Timber Forest Produce has been
introduced. This policy has to be watched very carefully for making mid-course
13. Livestock and fisheries, being important components of agro-forestry seem
to be neglected in the paper submitted.
14. Carbon trading has several un-settled issues and has not progressed well.
15. There are nursery related policy limitations for sustainably enhanced
productivity and production.
16. Credit policies for agro-forestry are not as good as for crops.
17. There are very good policies of production, processing, marketing and export
of tea, coffee, rubber, spices etc. in India.
18. Impact of Free Trade Agreement with Asean countries is being watched.
There is already high volatility in prices.