Biodiversity Board to promote growth of this endemic specie across both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

Busting the popular belief that the popular red sanders is home to forests of Chittoor and Kadapa districts only, the Andhra Pradesh Biodiversity Board is drawing up plans to promote plantation of this endemic specie across both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States.

The Board will start with awareness programmes on red sanders farming in various districts and later help the interested farmers with plantation. Officials say the initiative is commercially viable and they would also take the necessary permissions required for it.

“It is just a myth that red sanders can be grown in only certain parts. As part of a pilot project initiated two decades ago, red sanders were grown by some farmers in the districts of Nalgonda, Warangal and Rajahmundry too. We inspected the plantation and they were of good quality. The valuation for this cultivation was also high and the farmers want to sell them,” said R. Hampaiah, Chairman, AP State Biodiversity Board.

He informed that red sanders will also be grown in various nurseries in both States. The Board wants to encourage red sanders farming so as to take the burden off the forests and discourage rampant smuggling of the precious red sanders logs. With a market value of more than Rs. 25 lakh per tonne, the red sanders tree takes about 20 years to grow to its average height of eight metres to 11 metres.

“There is a very high demand for red sanders in countries like China because of which smugglers have been destroying the forests with red sanders trees. These smugglers are not just content with smuggling red sanders as there have also been instances of animal poaching by them. Legally, growing and supplying red sanders will cut down this activity to a large extent,” said Mr. Hampaiah.

The red sanders is believed to be widely used in Chinese medicines and also in furniture, eatables and atomic energy products.