Possibilities of sandalwood plantation in State explored

Efforts to divert farmers from traditional crops to cultivating other crops to get better income

As part of its efforts to divert farmers from traditional crops to cultivating other crops to get better income, the State government is exploring the possibility of encouraging farmers to take up sandalwood plantations, with buy-back facility by the government.

This was stated by Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy during a visit to the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) at Bengaluru on Thursday. Stating that sandalwood plantation was a good alternative to raising traditional crops and incurring losses, he said a proposal would be submitted to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in this regard. He stated that private companies were entering into agreements with farmers directly on buying back sandalwood after their proper/prescribed growth (15 years). Scientists at IWST explained to the Minister that pruning and wood tests on sandalwood trees would adversely impact their growth and they had to be raised in natural method itself.

The minister also had a meeting with Director of IWST M.P. Singh, senior officials H.R. Prabuddha and N. Palanikanth. Director of Horticulture L. Venkatram Reddy and Vice-Chancellor of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University Neeraja Prabhakar also attended the meeting.

Later, he visited the head office Karnataka Soaps & Detergents Ltd, makers of Mysore Sandal, where its Chairman K.M. Virupakshappa and Managing Director Hari Kumar Jha explained about various products of the company.

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