FORESTRY / WASTELAND
Forest land of 148177 ha. constitute 21.5% of total geographical area of the district, which is below national average of 33% forest coverage. Latest land use patterns indicate that culturable wasteland stood at 11703 ha. fallow land, other than current fallow at 11101 ha., Current fallow at 16480 ha. and 36692 ha. of Barren and uncultivable land. This land may be made suitable for taking up forestry/ waste land development.
From the geographical , socioeconomic & environmental consideration, the district offers lot of scope for development of this activity . In view of Govt. supports for development of this sector, long term potential for development through credit may be estimated at 2500 hect. for next 5 years with annual phasing of 500 ha.
The district is covered under the programmes of National Waste Land Development Board. IWDP is being implementation in 7 blocks viz. Indpur, Chhatna, Saltora, Khatra, Hirbundh, G.Ghati and Ranibandh.
State Govt. has implemented social forestry project in the district covering roadside, riverside, railway embankment plantation etc. West Bengal forest development corporation, pulpwood development corporation are also working for forest and wasteland development in the district during the past years. Govt. has stressed for biotic plantation distribution of seeding etc. in the district.
Forest of the district is divided into three divisions. On an average of 20% of forests are barren of degraded . Under State and Central sponsored programmes, rejuvenation and or re-plantation are taken to an average of 1500-1600 ha. per year. In coming five years 2000 ha. is also expected to be developed with non-timber forest. However bank credit may flow to the privately owned land only and no private land is categorized as forest land. Development of the activity only on culturable Waste Land and Fallow Land is therefore may be feasible through bank credit and long term potentials may be worked out as below :-
|Year||U (U=Union in ha)||F (F= Rs. in Lakhs)|
Lac and Tassar host tree plantation in forest areas in blocks of Chhatna, Saltora, Mejhia, Indpur, G. Ghati, Khatra, Ranibandh and Hirbandh will also benefit tribal people with increase in gainful employment and generation of employment downstream.
PLANTATION / HORTICULTURE
The agro climatic condition of the district is suitable for plantation / horticulture crops such as Mango, Guava, Cashewnut, Jackfruit, Banana, Papaya, Lime and others. Cultivation of most fruit crops are taken up as backyard plantation rather than commercial venture. There is also scope for development of floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants in the district. Total area under horticulture crops in the district is around 4775 ha.
The integrated wasteland development programmes is under implementation in the district with effect from 1993-94 to utilize wasteland and generate employment opportunities in rural area. It is a Govt. assisted programme, which aims at undertaking plantation activities of tasser host plantation (Arjun), horticultural development , energy plantation (non edible oil), medicinal and Silivipasture etc. in the district. Execution of plantation activities etc. done through Panchayat bodies. A commercial activity is need of the hour. Due importance is being attached by the SG. An agreement has been reached with a Israeli partner to develop planting materials of suitable species of PH corps. Arrangements are also being made to produce high quality planning materials in another farm at Joyrambati.
Long Term Potential
The S.F./M.F and other farmers population in the district is 576534 who can take up the activity as backyard plantation and plantation in wasteland. The land use pattern of the district is as below :-
|Net Sown area||409693 ha.||404918 ha.|
|Tree Crops||4775 ha.|
|Culturable waste||11703 ha.|
|Other fallow||6140 ha.||34323 ha.|
Assuming 5% of net sown are and 10% cultivable waste land may be available for P&H crops, an area of 21654 ha. may be considered as long term potential.
Long term exploitable potential in respect of year wise break up of plantation & horticultue activities terms of coverage in hectares (ha.) is given as follows :-
|Year||Betel vine||Mango / Guava||Citrus||Bers||Papaya / Pomegranate||Cashewnut||Nut|
Infrastructure required / available / gap
There are seven seed farm, one model farm, one horticulture research center (Taldangra) and 250 seed dealers in the district. Fruit crops development nurseries at Bankura , Taldangra, Kotulpur and Sonamukhi have been taking initiatives to popularize the activity . However it is observed that difficulties are there in getting timely supply of planting materials and other non credit inputs like technical advices for commercial exploitation. The marketing arrangement in the district also very poor. The farmers may be made aware of the post harvesting technology for fetching remunerative prices. Transport system in the district need further improvement, non availability cold chain adds to its misery. There is no fruit processing industries in the district which could give encouragement to undertake the activity also on marginal land .
NABARD is also collaboration with SG. Trying to promote plantation crop of dryland variety to diversify agriculture activity in the district.