Wood is an important natural resource. In a developing country like India, on the one end of the spectrum, fuel wood continues to be the primary source of energy for millions of (mostly rural) citizens, while on other end of the spectrum, a healthy GDP growth rate ensures that a bourgeoning middle class craved for the most modern of wooden utilities, from modular kitchens to the latest designs in furniture.
Indian forests cannot do use this hunger for wood. A report by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Planning Commission of India, making use of International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)’s analysis, has projected a severe shortage in the supply of timber by 2020 from both domestic as well as international sources.
To cater to the rising demand, India requires to make sustainable use of its vast and under utilized land resources, available in the form of cultivable wastelands, fallow lands and much of the agricultural land available with the farmers for farm forestry. The productivity of Indian forests is already much lower than the world average, owing to deterioration of forest lands over the decades due to myriad anthropogenic factors. The potential TOF is also severely under utilized in terms of timber production.