Highest Wood Production by Poplar ( Populus deltoides )clones under Agroforestry Systems in Punjab State of India- a case study
Highest Wood Production by Poplar ( Populus deltoides )clones under Agroforestry Systems in Punjab State of India- a case studywca2014-1256 Mohammed Haque 1,* 1Nabcons, Consultant, Forestry, NABARD, Mumbai, India
NABARD in collaboration with WIMCO- a wood based industry, promoted P.deltoides clones based Agroforestry irrigated plantations in Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh during 1984 to 1995, which became highly successful. The spacing followed was 5 m x 4 m accommodating 500 trees per hectare. Generally cost of cultivation was around Rs. 0.1 million ( US$ =INR 60 ) and the income was around 0.8 million, with agriculture income being10%. Due to overproduction, the poplar wood price started falling in 2002 and reached the lowest price of Rs. 800 per tonne in 2004, hence the farmers stopped growing poplar. In the year 2000, the Hon’ble Supreme court banned tree felling and poplar resurfaced again with much vigour. To ascertain the position, the author undertook a study in Chahal village, Nawasar district of Punjab along with WIMCO officials and held discussions with the farmers and plywood manufacturers and then met two progressive farmers, who had 20 hectare irrigated land and planted poplar in such a way that every year they could harvest 2 ha plantations. They followed a 6 year rotation cycle, when trees reached an average height of 18m and girth of 90cm, which yielded 180 ton wood per ha, and clocked income of INR 0.72 million at a sale price of Rs. 4000 per tonne. The projects were both technically feasible and financially viable with more than 50% IRR. Sugarcane and wheat were intercropped only for 2-3 years. Marketing of wood was no problem, because in Yamunanagar there were more than 1000 wood based industries. It was concluded that poplar based clonal agroforestry worked wonders and both the farmers and wood industries used it sustainably. Besides, it assisted in environmental amelioration, conserving genetic resources and mitigated climate change.