Deputy conservator of forests (P&C), Government of Manipur has requested for taking cabinet approval for cultivation and harvesting of Sandalwood and Agarwood in Manipur to replace jhumming cultivation and enhance farmers economy in the region.
The representation addressed to the under secretary (Forest and Environment) stated that plantation of Sandalwood and Agarwood may take place under unclassed forest land and areas covered under working plans. It may require checking and controlling expansion of jhumming in fresh natural forest and loss of biodiversity due to monoculture plantation, it stated.
It suggested that plantation of Agarwood and Sandalwood may be done under duly constituted JFMCs and prescriptions of working plan. It mentioned that suitable associate’s species may be planted with Agarwood and Sandalwood to check loss of biodiversity and avoid monoculture. Expansion for jhum in fresh forest or clearing of forest for plantation of Agarwood and Sandalwood need to be checked, it stated. Harvestable rotation of Agarwood and Sandalwood may be prescribed in the working plans for such plantations, it added.
Further, it stated that Agarwood is grown up to 750 metres above MSL. Hence, all jhum cultivation areas are not suitable for such plantations. Therefore, the deputy conservator has asked to convey the decision of the administrative department on development of such plantations, as state cabinet approval may not be required for the matter, it added.