Agroforestry Value-Chains and Market Systems: A Training cum Exposure Visit organised for Forest Department Officials

12 Jun, 2023

The Industrial Agroforestry Consortium assumes a vital role in fostering market linkages, necessitating the active engagement of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in processing agroforestry products. Assessing the challenges and opportunities encountered by farmers when integrating agroforestry models into their agricultural practices can contribute to the promotion of sustainable and efficient farming methods. Moreover, the engagement of diverse stakeholders is crucial in establishing resilient agricultural value chains and market systems, emphasising the significance of a collaborative approach to enhance the overall efficiency and productivity of the landscape.

In line with these efforts, the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES) Project in collaboration with the Forest College and Research Institute (FC&RI) and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) organised a training cum exposure visit for the State Forest Department (FD) officials of Uttar Pradesh (UPFD) and Himachal Pradesh (HPFD) from 12-16 June 2023. Representatives from different industries, farmers and panchayat heads also took part in the field visits and industrial tours to share their experiences.

Field visit and interaction with the Consortium stakeholders ©FCR&I

Session on the demand and challenges faced by timber and non-timber industries in agroforestry products ©GIZ/Vishal Chaudhary
In frame: Dr. K.T. Parthiban, Professor FC&RI

During the inauguration, Dr. K.T. Parthiban, Professor FC&RI, provided an overview of the event's objectives, followed by special remarks from Dr. H. Raja Mohan, Chief Conservator of Forests, UPFD, who highlighted the challenges faced by the Forest Department and farmers in promoting tree cultivation and implementing agroforestry models on small land holdings. Dr. A. Balasubramanian, Dean (Forestry), highlighted their dedicated efforts towards tree cultivation, commercialisation of farm produce and the increasing market demand for agro products and their by-products.

The sessions covered various topics, including challenges and learnings in industrial agroforestry through a value chain approach, precision plantation technologies and business incubator activities. Participants gained insights into demands, challenges and interventions that have yielded advantages in developing business models for agroforestry produce. They also visited TNAU's facilities, such as clonal mother gardens and FCRI's experimental farms, showcasing multidimensional intercropping, precision silviculture and ecosystem services from multifunctional agroforestry systems. Practical learning on business activities like briquette manufacturing, timber treatment, wood seasoning and natural dye processing were also part of the visit.

During the visit to FCR&I’s experimental farms ©GIZ/Vishal Chaudhary

A session by Dr. R. Seenivasan, Chief General Manager of the Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd (TNPL), focused on the importance of building a consortium and their mechanism for farmers to register on their apps for direct procurement of produce. The visit also highlighted the Green Tamil Nadu Mission, leveraging government schemes for sustainable livelihoods and the establishment of micro-forests in Chikarampalayam as an example of ecotourism.

Nurseries which are part of the major Industrial Consortium in Tamil Nadu ©GIZ/Vishal Chaudhary

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Balasubramanian emphasised the importance of multi-stakeholder participation in the industrial consortium, efficient regulation of wood transport and the integration of government schemes with industry initiatives. Based on the learnings from this visit, the FES Project plans to replicate similar business models in the states of M.P. and U.P. The focus will be on strengthening FPOs by providing technical and financial support, enhancing their capacities, and facilitating their connections with various industries within the state. The establishment of a consortium aims to create an efficient market for the supply of raw materials, where finished products from one industry can serve as raw materials for others and vice versa. The Project will also organise a brainstorming workshop for the partners to explore market potential, identify gaps and uncover opportunities within the sector's value chain, involving both public and private stakeholders.


About the project

Integrating the lessons from HP-FES, a follow-up project on ‘Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystem Services (FES)’ is being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, State Forest Departments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and GIZ India on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to strengthen forest and agroforest management to integrate the Forest Ecosystem Services approach with a focus on water availability. Read More

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