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 FEATURE # 87
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Green resources bring sustainable scopes to rural economy
(03/08/2015)

Forest resources and value addition to these may change the face of rural economy. Tripura seemingly has good chance to tap the potentiality if it is taken seriously.
PAWAN K. KAUSHIK, Regional Director for CENTRE FOR FOREST-BASED LIVELIHOODS & EXTENSION(CFLE)opines how it can be.

CENTRE FOR FOREST- BASED LIVELIHOODS & EXTENSION (CFLE), is not very familiar name to the ears, if quizzed very few in cities may even can tell what it is about. CFLE is not meant to be remembered for its name, though for notion it sets for people, especially the unprivileged ones with too many odds.
Pawan K Kaushik, a gentleman from Chattisgarh came here years back with a government post, and now even with fewer manpower badly gets engaged in make use of possibilities, be it barren , abandoned jhum land or traditional skill of bamboo craft. Like abandoned jhum land, which does not yield any crop for years once it is up for a season for soil-nutrients have been overhauled, with CFLE impetus getting new lease of life in form of broom-grass cultivation that gives at least Rs 2 lakh per hector in a year,many other elements are there that can produce such benefits.
Kaushik says, “Broom grass is abundant in Tripura. But until recently cultivation of the grass was not taken commercially, besides the traditional forest dwellers had been selling individually those . For the traditional shifting cultivation huge areas every year become virtually barren, and cannot be used for years. This grass is so wild that it needs little care or no-care, and even can grow in abandoned jhum-land while reinforces soil fertility.
This grass gives Rs 2 lakh a year from one hector of land. In northern parts of Tripura broom grass is yielding considerable employment and income”.
“Broom grass was there, the only thing is its commercial was not known to the people. Still it’s not widely taken up but those who do are making profit. We have to make people aware about the potentiality”, he tells Eying a dram of rural economy someday with its green resources would change the face of the population.
CFLE makes a good progress in northern part of Tripura.
Currently people of Kanchanpur, Bamutia and Melaghar are imparted trainings to develop skills on techniques developed by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education. The sole aim of the multi-structured community approach is to enhance the scope of livelihood of rural people considering their viable economics”, shared Kaushik.


“The beneficiaries selected from different target groups and communities are being given first-hand training on bamboo propagation, vermicomposting, bamboo clump management and broom grass cultivation. The beneficiaries are also establishing demo plots of agroforestry by incorporating different crops in combinations with broom grass, bamboo, Sugandhmantri, Muskdana, Flemingia etc. besides other sectors”, the Chairman added.


The rise in production of bamboo in the state by clump management techniques was made known to the bamboo growers through Capacity Building Programme. “Bamboo shoots are consumed by the people across Tripura. This has maximized pressure on the natural resource which is already under degradation. It can be tackled through clump management techniques for its conservation besides assuring income generation for the growers by producing edible shoots.” Kaushik informed.


The meeting also set a target for the growers for the year 2015-16. Dilip Debnath, Secretary of Mars Socio Welfare Society, Kanchanpur said, “We have currently bamboo nurseries at 10 locations, where Muli, Betu, Dolu, Mritinga, Rupai, Bari are being grown. We will raise it upto 25 by next three months.” The number of Vermi Compost Units will be doubled, which stands presently at 50.


“Technical supports are provided to the growers by CFLE”, quipped Debnath.


Notably, a team of Bamboo Growers visited Mutha Industries Pvt. Ltd. at Bodhjungnagar on April 04, last and interacted with the officials. They were appraised of the market demand and specific requirements of the industry.


During the discussions, the industry officials informed the growers about their plans to help in all possible ways. The Linkage between the Industry and the growers was developed by CFLE. Earlier, the societies working under the technical guidance of CFLE wrote to the Forest Minister seeking help on his part in regard to assured market for their nursery stock. They also apprised the Forest Minister of their development activities supported by CFLE.

The efforts of the CFLE, Agartala has been lauded for their technical support in capacity building through its extension activities by transferring the technologies of ICFRE and the same has been the mandate ever since its existence. The institute has come in a big way for the benefit of the rural livelihood of Tripura. Similar kind of efforts is required to develop the socioeconomic condition of the people in other parts of the country.
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