Forest College and Research Institute, TNAU, Mettupalayam organized the Sixth Annual workshop of Consortium of Industrial Agro-Forestry (CIAF) on 21st and 22nd March 2023 for the promotion of agroforestry in the country. Parthiban, Dean (Forestry) & Consortium Coordinator highlighted the role of CIAF in transforming subsistence agroforestry into Industrial Agroforestry in the state.
Th. Deepak Srivastava IFS, APCCF & Chief Mission Director, Green Tamil Nadu Mission, Tamil Nadu Forest Department was the Chief Guest of the workshop. In his address, he highlighted the need to cut down on our wood imports by increasing the area under tree cover with indigenous species. He emphasized the members of the CIAF to enrol themselves on the GTM website.
Th.Thirumala Rao, DDM, NABARD, CBE highlighted the role of NABARD Facilitation centre at Forest College. Veeramani, Chief Manager, ITC Private Ltd. CBE delivered the keynote address and emphasized the need for dendroenergy in the cogeneration plants. Sureshkumar, Director (CARDS) highlighted the role of the Multifunctional Agroforestry Model (MFA) in ensuring continuous income to the farmers.
To address the various marketing issues faced by the farmers in the state, TNAU has initiated TNAU-FPO linkage programme to empower the farmers in gaining higher returns. TNAU will provide technical inputs to the farmers and help in networking and preparation of business plans for the FPOs.
Manoj Dabas Deputy Director, Trees Outside Forests India (TOFI) Programme expressed that the TOFI programme will work in collaboration with GTM in Tamil Nadu to increase the forest cover. Interactive technical sessions were held on various aspects of industrial agroforestry, varieties, silvicultural practices, value-added products and marketing opportunities and demonstrations on value-added products of wood.
Later, field visits were arranged to expose the participants to Multifunctional Agroforestry model. In addition, the ITC Dendroenergy project and NABARD Agroforestry Facilitation Centre were launched. Under the Tamil Nadu Government – Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute’s (EDII) Innovation Voucher Programme, seed fund was provided to budding entrepreneurs. Certificates and awards were presented to progressive farmers and agroforestry entrepreneurs. About 850 participants including Heads of the Department, Professors, Research scholars, students, farmers and entrepreneurs attended the workshop.