TAMIL NADU

TAFCORN plans to raise medicinal crop in plantations

Tamil Nadu Forest Plantation Corporation Limited (TAFCORN) has planned to raise medicinal plant on its plantations in a bid to diversify its activities.

The State-owned corporation with its headquarters in Tiruchi proposes to raise Senna in around 300 hectares in six plantation regions of Pudukottai, Aranthangi, Karaikudi, Vriddhachalam, Villupuram and Tirukoilur in July. Senna will be raised as an inter-crop in the vast eucalyptus plantations of the regions.

The corporation will have marketing tie-ups with agencies for sale of Senna seeds, which has medicinal properties. Although Senna was raised last year in a few hectares, the corporation has decided to raise it in 300 hectares to diversify its activities, TAFCORN authorities said.

The corporation's main activity is to raise, maintain and harvest eucalyptus and cashew plantations for commercial purposes on lands leased out to it by the State government. The total area of the six plantation regions is 71,540 hectares, with ecalyptus planted in an area exceeding 51,000 hectares and cashew in over 14,900 hectares.

Eucalpytus plantations are being raised for production of pulpwood and firewood and cashew as a foreign exchange earner. Eucalyptus is one of the species that yields quality pulpwood for paper and newsprint making. The harvested pulpwood is supplied to Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited in Karur district and Seshasayee Paper and Boards Limited in Erode district.

The authorities said 1.42 lakh metric tonnes of pulpwood were harvested and supplied to the two units during 2017-18 and the revenue realised was Rs. 57.90 crore. The revenue generated from cashewnut sale was to the tune of Rs. 12.36 crore. TAFCORN had set a target of 3,280 hectares for eucalpytus for 2018-19, while it was 403 hectares for cashew.

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