‘Increase agroforestry cover to cut carbon emissions’

May 14, 2023 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - MUMBAI

Sajjan Bhajanka

Sajjan Bhajanka

With demand for plywood increasing by 10% per annum in tune with urbanisation and India embarking on ambitious net-zero targets, a top industry executive has called for an urgent need to increase agroforestry cover in India to address these demands.

“The forest cover in India has increased from 21% to 25%. So, 4% has been contributed by agroforestry [in recent years] and this is basically supported by the plywood industry,” said Sajjan Bhajanka, chairman, Century Plyboards India Ltd.

He said variousState governments were trying to augment agroforestry as it contributed to the environment, helped in reducing carbon footprint, and led to rainfall. “But the impact has been very less due to several factors,” he added.

“In a presentation I had submitted to the Prime Minister, Isuggested that we haveabout 14 to 15million hectares of arable land in the country,” Mr. Bhajanka said.

“So, if 5% of that land would come under plantation, India’s forest cover would increase from 25% to 30% of the entire surface area,” he said, adding that a shift in policy could bring about transformational changes.

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