|7th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<<
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AGRICULTURE AND ALLIED ACTIVITIES
FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE
1.205 The National forest policy (1952) is stipulated that the country should aim at a coverage of one-third of the total geographical area under forests, of which 60 per cent should be in hilly tracts and 20 per cent in plains. Against this according to the State Forest Departments, nearly 23 per cent of the total geographical area, or 75 million hectares, is classified as forests. However, according to the National Remote Sensing Agency, the forest cover which was slightly over 55 million hectares during the mapping cycle of 1972-75 has come down to 46 million hectares, as revealed during the mapping cycle of 1980-82 and accordingly it has been estimated that, on an average 1.5 million hectares of forest cover has been lost annually. The findings of the National Remote Sensing Agency, however, suffer from certain deficiencies which need to be rectified before firm estimates can be arrived at.
Review of the Sixth Plan
1.206 During the Sixth Plan period, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, was enacted with the main objective of checking the diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes. The rate of diversion has been brought down to about 4,600 hectares per year, as against 0.15 million hectares during the period 1951-52 to 1979-80.
1.207 Another objective of the forestry programme was the conservation of existing forests and launching of a countrywide afforestation and social forestry programme keeping in view the needs relating to (a) ecological security; (b) fuel, fodder and other domestic needs of the population; and (c) the needs of village, small scale and large scale forest based industries. The scheme of Soil,Water and Tree Conservation in the Himalayas envisaged the treatment of identified catchments on micro watershed basis adopting an integrated approach with a view to preserving the Himalaya's eco-system. This scheme covered 12 States and 2 Union Territories where an area of 1,16,000 hectares was treated during the Sixth Plan period, as against the target of 1,10,000 hectares.
1.208 Under the scheme of Social forestry including Rural fuelwood plantation initiated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme during the Sixth Plan period, 101 fuelwood deficit districts spread over all the States and three Union Territories ofArunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Mizoram were taken up. Later, in 1982-83 it was extended to cover 157 districts in the country. The scheme envisaged the raising of 2,60,000 hectares of fuelwood plantation and supply of about 580 million seedlings free of cost to the public and also to the children under the "A Tree for Every Child Programme". The achievements have been 300,000 hectares of plantation and distribution of 740 miillion Seedlings. Besides, State Sector Schemes of Social Forestry supplemented with external aid were also undertaken.
1.209 The targets and achievements of the afforestation programme during the Sixth Plan period are given in Table 1.22, 1.23 and 1.24.
Social ForestryArea Planted
210 It is seen that some headway has been made in the afforestation programme, particularly the Social Forestry Programme, more significantly from 1982-83 onwards when afforestations was included in the New 20-Point Programme. Also, the survival rate of seedlings has been quite encouraging. On refractory sites the survival rate is 50 to 60 per cent, whereas in good areas, particularly in farm forestry, the survival rate is as high as 90 per cent. However, there is scope for improvement in the qualitative content of the programme especially in terms of choice of suitable species, involvement of local people and meaningful sharing of usufructs.
1.211 As regards the production forestry programme emphasis was laid on the conversion of low-value mixed forest areas into high-value mixed plantation of commercially important species like teak and bamboo. During the Sixth Plan period, an area of about 0.6 million hectares was covered by this programme against 0.65 million hectares during the Fifth Plan period, it is noteworthy that social forestry and production forestry programme put together have created plantations over an area of 2.25 million hectares during the Sixth Plan period, as against 3.55 million hectares during all the earlier Five Year Plans, together.
1.212 With a view to harvesting the forest produce on better scientific management pattern, it was recommended in the Sixth Plan that the contractor agency should be eliminated in all the States. Action has accordingly been taken by 13 States (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajas-than, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh) and 3 Union Territories (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Goa, Daman and Diu). In the remaining nine States and the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh it has been partially eliminated. However, leases are reported to be operating in areas given to industries in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Karnataka and Orissa. Some minor forest produce items are also sold to contractors in all the States.
1.213 Forestry has acquired a multi-disciplinary dimension, and efficient implementation of the activities requires the tools of modern management techniques which were not available so far in this sector. To bridge this gap, the Indian Institute of Forest Management was established in March, 1981 at Bhopal. This Institute will have a wide range of activities covering research, development of teaching materials, executive development programmes and consultancy/management needs in terms of community social forestry and 'farm forestry.
1.214 The Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun (FRI) is the nodal agency for forest research and education in the country. Despite efforts during the Plan in the directions of (i) biological research; (ii) forest product research; and (iii) forest research including regional research centres and field oriented projects, forest research and education has continued to be the weakest link of Forestry Administration.
1.215 To carry out a survey of forest resources for ascertaining the availability of raw materials for wood-based industries, a Pre-lnvestment Survey of Forest Resources was created in 1965. Subsequently, on the basis of the recommendations of the National Commission on Agriculture (NCA), the Forest Survey of India was created on June 1,1981. The main activities envisaged for the Forest Survey of India were forest inventory and re-inventory, photo interpretation and mapping, data processing and training, consultancy and some special studies. An area of 28.8 million hectares had been surveyed by the Pre-lnvestment Survey of Forest Resources between 1965 and 1981, while 13.15 million hectares were surveyed after the establishment of the Forest Survey of India (1981 to 1985). If the entire forest area of the country, after excluding scrub, open or barren land and snow covered area, is presumed to be about 50 million hectares, the annual rate of inventory should be 5 million hectares. However, during the period of four years, the annual coverage came to only about 3.3 million hectares. Thus inventory work has to be accelerated to achieve the goal in the stipulated time-frame.
1.216 In regard to Wildlife, there are 52 National Parks and 223 Sanctuaries constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. These include 15 tiger reserves covered by the 'Project Tiger'. The Project Tiger has been hailed as one of the conservation successes of the present era in not only putting the tiger on an assured course of recovery from the brink of extinction but also for preserving flora and fauna genetic diversity in some of the unique and endangered eco-systems. In order to meet the needs of trained manpower and research support for the vast conservation areas in the country, the Wildlife Institute of India was established in May, 1982. The Institute conducts a one year Diploma course and be intensified. People's awareness of the Social Forestry Programme should be raised through the use of mass media. This will promote their active participation.
1.224 For successful implementation of the Social Forestry Schemes, sharing of the benefits including the harvested forest produce is one of the critical factors. To safeguard this, a suitable management model would be evolved in a workable form of agreement with the Panchayats/Local Bodies/Individuals for ensuring distribution of benefits among villagers, with emphasis on helping the landless and other weaker sections of society. To popularise the Social Forestry Scheme among small and marginal farmers, possibilities would be explored in terms of making available financial support by way of incentive or long term loans and linking the incentive with seedlings that survive on year to year basis.
1.225 To support the massive Social Forestry Programme, adequate research input would be needed in respect of fuelwood-biomass, fodder-trees, agro-forestry and genetic engineering. Under Agro-Forestry, intercropping relationship between fuelwood and agricultural crops as well as soil moisture nutrient mycorrhizal relationship has to be studied in depth. As regards improved wood base technologies for bringing thermal efficiency, emphasis would be laid on improved wood stoves including smokeless chulhas, gasitiers, improved charcoal production methods and briquetting.
1.226 Production Forestry: After meeting the needs of the local people on a priority basis, forests would provide raw material for the forest-based industries. The National Commission on Agriculture had made projections for industrial wood requirements for 1985-90 and 2000 A.D. Table 1.25 below brings out the gap between the production of and demand for industrial wood.
1.227 To bridge the gap, it has been estimated that an area of 2 million hectares will have to be planted under production forestry during the Seventh Plan period. As this requires large capital investment, the National Commission on Agriculture (NCA) had recommended the setting up of State Forest Corporations so as to attract institutional finance. However progress in this regard has been far from satisfactory. There is urgent need to galvanise the State Forest Development Corporations so as to obtain institutional finance for increasing plantation activity.
1.228 As far as possible, no forest based industries would be permitted until and unless they are first cleared with regard to assured availability of raw materials after meeting the bonafide needs of the local people. Degraded lands and wastelands not likely to be taken up for plantations by the Forest Department/Forest Corporations, can be made available on selective trial basis to the forest based industries for raising captive plantations. The pricing of forest produce for industry would need to be rationalised keeping in view the prevailing market rates.
1.229 Targets of selected plantation programmes:
The targets of selected plantation programmes contemplated for the Seventh
Plan are given in table 1.26 below:Apart from the Plan outlay for the Forestry
Sector, the afforestation programme is funded to a substantial extent by
schemes of other Departments like Rural Development, Agriculture, etc. Based
upon previous trends and the likely availability of funds from these sources,
a target of 5 million hectares has been fixed for afforestation programme
including distribution of seedlings. Thus for the Seventh Plan the total
afforestation target (including discribution of seedlings) would be about
10 million hectares.
1.236 People's participation:Forestry programmes, by and large, have so far been implemented in isolation and, therefore, the concept of people's participation in forest development has never been conceptualised and operationalised in clear and comprehensive terms. Since the people's participation in the forestry programme, particularly Social Forestry, is the s/ne qua non for its success, there is an urgent need for evolving a viable, effective and operational model. Efforts would be made to solicit people's participation in formulating and implementing the schemes based on local needs, potential and availability of inputs. Possibilities would be explored to entrust the implementation of some components of the programme direct to the local bodies, voluntary agencies or other non-governmental organisations. Also the process of meaningful involvement of the people would lead to "social fencing", resulting in the reduction of unit cost of afforestation. The association of people in the implementation of afforestation programmes would further result in the creation of awareness, exchange of views, especially on the impact of forestry programmes and better appreciation of the realities in the field.
1.237 Establishment of National Wasteland Development Boards:More than half of the total land area of 328 million hectares, is estimated to be in various stages of degradation, and approximately 50 million hectares are not being put to any productive use for different reasons. With a view to reversing the trend of continuing deforestation, a National Wasteland Development Board has been established. The Board will formulate, within the overall National Policy, perspective plans and programmes for the management and development of the wastelands in the country through a massive programme of afforestation and tree planting. It would also promote, encourage and finance development of wastelands through the involvement of non-governmental organisations, voluntary agencies and the public at large including the landless. In short, a people's movement for afforestation would be developed.
1.238 Reconstitution of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education:At present, there is a Council of Forest Research and Education for providing direction and promoting forestry research and education in the country. The Council has, however, been functioning as an advisory committee. It is proposed that the Council for Forest Research and Education should be organised on the lines somewhat similar to the organisation of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, with adequate funds at its disposal and autonomy in its functioning. Through this arrangement, it would be possible not only to intensify the activities of the Forest Research Institute and its subordinate organisations in the field of forestry research and education, but also to guide and promote problem-oriented research by the Research Institutes established by the State Governments, Universities and other Institutions. The Indian Council of Forest Research and Education will thus function as an umbrella organisation for coordination of and cooperation with the activities of State Government agencies, Universities, industries, the ICAR, the CSIR, the Indian Institute of Forest Management and other related institutes in the country.
1.239 Application of remote sensing in forestry management:Remote sensing through satellite imagery is a valuable aid to aerial photography and photo-interpretation in forest resources survey, leading to scientific forest management. This technique corroborated with ground truth would facilitate detailed and precise monitoring of data in regard to both forestry and wildlife. Technological deficiencies in remote-sensing in the initial stages have led to certain discrepancies which are sought to be rectified in the Seventh Plan to ensure completeness and accuracy in projection of data.
1.240 In line with the priority attached to the agricultural sector and the approach and strategy adopted for achieving rapid increase in agricultural production and employment, the financial outlays for the Seventh Plan have been fixed at a much higher level than those for the Sixth Plan. Thus the total outlay proposed for Agriculture and Allied Programmes for the Seventh Plan is Rs. 10573.62 crores, as against the likely expenditure of Rs. 7318.42 crores, for the Sixth Plan. Its break-up by Centre, States and Union Territories is as follows:
ANNEXURE1 Area Production and Per hectare Yield of Foodgrains and
Major Commercial Crops
Area Production and Per hectare Yield of Foodgrains and Major Commercial Crops
1 Production in bales of 170 Kgs each
Tentative Targets of Crop Production Seventh Five year Plan
Annexure - 3
N.B.:All India target for 1989-90 has been fixed in the range of 13.500 thousand to 14,000 thousand NPK.
Annexure - 4
Annexure - 4
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