Eucalypt plantation has come to stay in India. Large scale plantations have been raised in in India by government owned and private farm lands; the planting is continuing. There is vast potential to grow the species economically on farm and waste land in suitable zones. Eucalypt meets requirements of people and industries and has helped to reduce pressure on natural forests. The uses of eucalypt are varied; people are realising this fast. Growth is varied; clonal selection, propagation and planting will improve uniform production. Government intervention in marketing is necessary to safeguard the interest of farmers.

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 REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD.

Our vision is to promote development of forestry as trees are important, valuable and necessary to our very existence. It's not too hard to believe that, without trees we humans would not exist on this beautiful planet. In fact, some claim can be made that our mother's and father's ancestors climbed trees

 Another debate for another site.

Still, trees are essential to life as we know it and are the ground troops of an environment . Let's face it, we could not exist as we do, if there were no trees. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. What many people don't realize is that the forest also acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breath.


     PRESENT SITUATION OF EUCALYPTUS CLONE PLANTATION IN INDIA

Over 1,000,000 ha of eucalypt plantations have been established, mostly by State Forest Departments and Forest Development Corporations. Apart from these, around 6,000 million seedlings have been planted in private lands (REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD.). There are several reasons for raising large scale eucalypt plantations in the country; some are common and some are specific to each State. The most important common reason is to reclothe the denuded and barren hilly areas and replacing low value natural forests (FAO, 1979).

The policy of converting low value natural forests into plantations was aimed at improving productivity and to generate government revenue.

Eucalypt plantations were also raised under REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD. and centrally sponsored schemes to meet the demands of local people in respect of the requirement of firewood, small timber, poles etc.. In most States, the Forest Departments had schemes providing free supply of seedlings of various species, including eucalyptus. The success of eucalyptus, both for regenerating degraded forest and waste lands, made it one of the main species under Social Forestry Projects. Starting from Gujarat, almost all the States developed the Social Forestry Projects, and obtained external funding.

Some States have encouraged pulp and paper industries to raise their own captive plantations by leasing degraded forests and Government waste lands. REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD. initially supported such ventures. With the new Forest Policy the industries should obtain their raw material from farm forest areas. The new Forest Policy has given a boost to farm forestry, and to eucalypts. The wood industries are encouraging farmers to raise trees in their lands by giving incentives. Some rich farmers have diverted good arable land with assured irrigation facilities, for growing eucalypt. Here, economics was the main consideration.

Plantations raised in some of the important States of India with help of REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD.  

Eucalyptus plantations Andhra Pradesh: Though there were sporadic plantings of eucalypt for experimental purpose in A.P. since 1874, it was only around 1960 that regular plantations were raised; there is a large extent of eucalypt plantations. The main species raised is Eucalyptus hybrid,

Eucalyptus plantations Bihar: Large scale planting of eucalypt began in the State in 1962. The species planted is E. hybrid; mainly used for restocking blanks in degraded forest, planting along the road side and field bunds. The farmers prefer this species due to its fast growth.

Eucalyptus plantations Goa, Daman & Deu: Since 1963, some 5,000 ha of eucalypt plantations were raised in Goa, Daman and Deu to meet the shortage of fire wood. Earlier,Casuarina was tried without much success. There were no indigenous species which would grow fast, so eucalypt was chosen

Eucalyptus plantations Gujarat: Eucalyptus was introduced to Gujarat in 1961. So far over 50,000 ha of eucalypt plantations have been created by the Forest Department and REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD.. This species became very popular among the farmers in the State. The Forest Department has supplied over 500 million seedlings to them. About 150,000 farmers have taken to eucalypt cultivation.

Eucalyptus plantations Haryana: Eucalyptus  were introduced in Haryana State during the forties. Regular planting on a large scale commenced from 1962 onwards. To begin with, eucalypt planting was carried out on road margins, canals and railway strips; later, irrigated plantations were raised to the extent of 25,000 ha

Eucalyptus plantations Madhya Pradesh: Eucalypt was first introduced in M.P. on an experimental scale during 1965 ~66. Large scale plantations of eucalypt covering an area of 45,000 ha were raised since 1966. After 1974, eucalypt was planted only in mixtures under Social Forestry Schemes.

Eucalyptus plantations Maharashtra: The Forest Department started raising large scale plantations of eucalypt from 1961 onwards; over 150,000 ha of eucalypt plantations exist. The main species raised are E. hybrid and E. camaldulensis in the dry zone. In high rainfall areas Eucalyptus grandis .

Eucalyptus plantations Punjab: Under the Social Forestry Schemes farmers were encouraged to grow Eucalyptus on boundaries of agricultural fields and on either side of irrigation channels. Planting of eucalyptus is said to have changed the land use pattern in Punjab.

Eucalyptus plantations Tamil Nadu: Eucalyptus plantations were raised in Nilgiri and Kodaikanal hills in the past to meet the firewood needs. At medium Eucalyptus hybrid was raised. The total area covered is over 80,000 ha out of which 60,000 ha are with Eucalyptus hybrid.

Eucalyptus plantations Uttar Pradesh: Large scale planting of Eucalyptus was started in U.P. in 1962 in the Terai region with mechanisation practices. Over 100,000 ha of eucalypt plantations are planted. Farmers have also taken to planting in their lands.

West Bengal: Eucalypt plantations were raised in West Bengal since 1963 on laterite soils of South and South Western Districts. There are over 200,000 ha of eucalypt plantations.

Karnataka: Until 1987-88 some 130,000 ha of eucalypt plantations were raised by the Forest Department. Eucalyptus is also one of the species in over 443,000 ha of miscellaneous plantations raised. In addition, the Forest Plantation Corporation has raised 48,000 ha of Eucalyptus hybrid plantations.

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF EUCALYPTUS PLANTATIONS ACCORDING TO REVOLVING EARTH AGRO (INDIA) PVT. LTD.

Growing stock assessment

The economics of eucalyptus plantations varies depending upon the use to which it is put. In a country like India where firewood is the main source of energy, whether it is eucalypt or any other species, there is no better economic return - as the wood is burnt. This situation may not change in the near future. The eucalyptus wood which is marketed is used either as firewood or as pulpwood by the paper and rayon industries.

The maximum value for eucalyptus wood is as pulpwood. The Farm Forestry sector annually extracts and sells 150,000 tonnes of pulpwood, to the industries. Eucalyptus timber is also used as poles for scaffolding, transmission lines and in construction.

ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF EUCALYPTUS

Water

Large scale planting of eucalypt has caused concern to many people as they thought it would have adverse environmental impacts particularly in relation to nutrient depletion and high water use. A number of studies have been undertaken in various sites on the water use of eucalypt but none of the findings are conclusive. The summary of the findings are:

At the Puradal site, the water use by young eucalypt plantation was no greater than that of the indigenous Dry Deciduous forest;
At both Puradal and Devabal sites, annual water use of eucalypt and indigenous forest was equal to the annual rainfall (within the experimental measurement uncertainty of about 10%);
At all sites, the water use of forests was higher than from agriculture crops (about 2 times higher than from Ragi - a small millet);
At the Hosakote site, there are indications that water use over three dry years of measurement was greater than the rainfall.
At none of the sites was there any indication of roots taking water directly from the water table.

Biodiversity aspects and growth

Eucalyptus plantations are economically grown in monoculture. In India, until the later part of 1980’s due to the Government policy to convert degraded natural forests into productive plantations, large areas of natural forests with miscellaneous species were cleared for planting eucalypts in monoculture. In Karnataka where eucalypt was mixed with teak in plantations after clear felling moist deciduous forests, teak is allowed to grow along with the miscellaneous species which have come up from the root stock. At present, plantations of eucalypt are only taken up in barren areas of the dry zone.

UTILISATION OF EUCALYPTUS PLANT AND WOOD

Fuel: Eucalypt was not considered a good firewood and timber species. This is being disproved. Due to the shortage of miscellaneous species, people have found that eucalypt is a very good substitute for firewood because of its calorific value and moderate burning qualities

Charcoal: Eucalypt gives good charcoal. Wherever farm forestry has flourished, eucalypt wood is used for charcoal manufacture to meet the semi urban and urban demand.

Poles: Eucalypt poles are good for transmission purposes and are also used in construction of dwelling houses, work sheds and in mines. Eucalypt poles have good demand near cities for use as scaffolding material. Eucalypt sold in the form of poles have price preference over firewood.

Timber: Earlier, eucalypt wood was not considered a good timber. The quality of the timber depends upon the species and edapho -climatic factors. Considering the cost of eucalypt timber, it is found to be quite economical to use in low cost houses; as mine timber and in other construction purposes. It is also being used as furniture wood.

Rural small scale industries: Rural small scale industries are developing fast in the country-side, important ones among them being brick making, jaggery making, pottery, tile manufacturing, lime production, dyeing, smithy, etc. All these industries require firewood or charcoal, provided by eucalypt plantations. They earlier depended on firewood from natural forests, which is no longer available.

Honey and oil: Several eucalypt species are rich in nectar and pollen. Bee keeping is profitable and this activity is improving. Leaves of Eucalyptus are used for extraction of oil. It is a cottage industry providing employment in some parts of India.

Paper and pulp: One of the most important uses of eucalypt wood so far has been in the paper and pulp industry. The demand for paper and pulp is going to increase many fold in India and eucalypt, being one of the good pulpwood materials, will be in continuing demand.