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‘Plan to encourage tribal farmers to opt for commercial crops’

The Andhra Pradesh Forest Development Corporation (APFDC) is chalking out plans to improve revenues form the forests by encouraging the tribal farmers to opt for commercial crops such as eucalyptus, coffee and pepper, according Divi Sivaram, chairman of the corporation.

Addressing a press conference in Rajamahendravaram on Tuesday, he said that the corporation had about 16.9 lakh hectares in Rajamahendravaram region, where cultivation of eucalyptus, cane and cashew was in progress. “There has been a steady increase in the demand for eucalyptus and recently the Kerala government placed an order for procuring 1.5 lakh tonnes of eucalyptus wood. Similarly, the corporation is also encouraging the farmers to undertake cultivation of coffee and pepper, for which the demand is ever increasing,” he observed.

Mr. Sivaram said that the despite having shortage of staff, the corporation was delivering the goods.

Eco-tourism

Director of the APFDC Gadiraju Satyanarayana Rajus said that plans were afoot to develop eco-tourism in the forest area and arrangements were already being made at Ananthagiri.

“Similar facilities can be provided here in Rajamahendravaram, which is attracting more and more tourists of late,” he said.

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