|Subject||Ap Mulls Promoting Red Sanders Cultivation To Boost Production|
As the Andhra Pradesh forest department prepares itself to sell the piled up stocks of seized red sanders logs through e-auctioning and e-tenders, another proposal relating to investing in the production of the logs in the future is underway.
Going by senior officials in the department, it is also being mulled to encourage private farmers to cultivate red sanders logs to enhance production and exports. According to officials, such a move will help curb smuggling and also help in brining the species out of the endangered list.
Presently, red sanders trees are naturally found only in three districts -- Chittoor, Kadapa and Nellore. Though officials claim there are no restrictions on the cultivation of the tress, promoting their cultivation will surely help in the long run. “We think it is high time to invest more in the production and protection of red sanders.
This will serve as a source of revenue for the future,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity. According to him, presently AP has about 4,000 metric tonnes of red sanders logs stored in various notified godowns. A tonne fetches anywhere between `20-40 lakh in the international market. “Even if a tonne fetched `30 lakh, the government stands to net 1,200 crore,” he said.
Red sanders are said to be in demand in countries like Japan and China. Officials, however, feel such speculations are unfair and the logs are sold at such prices only in the grey market. “We will be selling the wood in the open market while following all legal procedures and it is unfair to assess the prices. The government will correspond and negotiate with importers,” principal chief conservator of forests AV Joseph said and added that the export will be taken up only through forest corporations to ensure no malpractice takes place.
Further, statistics available with the department suggest that 1,025 tonnes of red sanders were exported in the log form in 2006-07 where as in 2007-08 several tonnes were exported in the value addition form (furniture, medicine, etc). “We have about 85 percent of C And D category logs.
These do not fetch large amounts in the international market,” the official said. On concerns of the director general of foreign trade’s (DGFT) one-year deadline to auction the seized logs ending in October, officials said the government has been corresponding with the DGFT and the chances of getting an extension were bright.
Source : newindianexpress.com
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