India's Plantation Industry: Facts
- Investments in the forestry sector have always been very low in India relative to the large amount of revenue generated from the forests.
- Since 1951, government funding for the forestry sector did not exceed 1 percent of total public-sector expenditure until the seventh plan (1985 to 1990).
The situation deteriorated with low investments in the forestry sector, extracting maximum revenues from the forests, and little efforts at restoring the degraded forests.
- Strict laws concerning forests made cutting and marketing of trees by individual farmers was made more difficult.
- From the sixth five-year plan (1980 to 1985), expenditure on tree plantations increased dramatically, from 1073 million rupees (Rs) (US$153 million). Later, the farm forestry programmes on private lands provided subsidies to farmers.
- The National Forest Policy of 1988 gave a big boost to efforts to increase the forest cover. The targets were phenomenal with efforts to increase in forest cover (currently about 19.5 percent) to at least one-third of the total geographical area of the country.
- Between 1990 to 1996, tree plantations were established on almost 6 million ha of public lands, and more than 7 000 million seedlings were distributed for planting on private lands.