Climate-friendly poplar cultivation, ecology by J&K: Dr. Mohit Gera

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Chair of the first meeting of the “Poplar Commission”

Srinagar: Chaired by Principal Chief Conservator Forests (HoFF), Dr. Mohit Gera, the “Poplar Commission” recently set up by the government held its first meeting here.

Accordingly, the commission was set up to advise on the introduction, cultivation, use and regulation of poplar trees and the formulation of a policy on poplar cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The commission is the first of its kind in the country and is headed by the PCCF and the Head of Forestry Force with members and experts from the Forestry Department, Social Forestry Department, SKUAST and related fields including representatives of the wood-based industry, poplar growers and tree nurseries.

On this occasion, Dr. Mohit Gera that poplar cultivation is well adapted to the climate and ecology of Jammu and Kashmir and that there is enormous potential for increasing cultivation and use. He informed J&K of Rs. 500 crore of timber being imported into J&K, saying that promoting the timber industry can replace this import and that value-added products could be made for export by J&K. This will create job opportunities and increase UT’s GDP, he added.

He said that the cultivation of wood and the manufacture of wood products are being promoted worldwide, as wood is seen as a climate neutral and environmentally friendly option compared to other materials such as steel and cement. J&K is blessed with abundant resources and opportunities to encourage higher wood production and the use of more wood for sustainable development, he added.

The commission focused on important issues such as improving the quality of poplar cultivation, cultivation techniques, improving new fast-growing varieties, the different demands of the industry and the problems of farmers, tree nurseries in cultivation and questions about the marketing of polar wood.

Various committees have now been set up to propose to the Commission an action plan for the introduction, cultivation and use of poplar. The important topic of the regulation of tree nurseries and the production of exclusively male poplar clones was also discussed and a roadmap was drawn up in this regard.

The Commission agreed on the need to raise awareness among all stakeholders, especially farmers and tree nurseries, about the latest fast-growing varieties and cultivation and management techniques for poplar growing so that quality wood is produced in the shortest possible time for better yields.

The meeting was attended by Roshan Jaggi, Director of Social Forestry, Dr. Tariq Masoodi, Dean of Forestry, SKUAST, Kashmir, Ramesh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu, Maraj-Ud-din Malik, Regional Director of Social Forestry, Kashmir. Dr. Harpreet Kour, Special Secretary (Technical), Forest, Ecology & Environment Department, Dr. Tariq, Deputy Director, Forest Research Institute, J&K, Dr. Samant, Director, Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla Dr. RC Dhiman, Expert in addition to Secretary General, South Kashmir Wood Supplies Union, President, Pencil Slats / Block Manufacturing Association, Kashmir, Aasifa Padroo, Additional Advocate General, J&K High Court, Srinagar (Legal Expert), Nadeem Qadri, NGO, Environmental Advocate, Nursery Representative in the Connection with cultivation / production of poplar (for southern and northern Kashmir).



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