Srinagar| : The ‘Poplar Commission’ constituted by the Government held its second meeting on Tuesday at Forest Complex Sheikh Bagh under the chairmanship of Dr. Mohit Gera, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and HoFF.
The Commission has been constituted to advise the Government on various aspects of introduction, cultivation, utilization and regulation of poplars as well as for formulation of policy on Poplar cultivation in J&K.
The first of its kind in the country, the Commission has been constituted with experts drawn from Forest Department, Social Forestry Department, SKUAST and allied fields including representatives from Wood Based Industry, poplar growing farmers and nursery growers.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the Commission took review of the deliberations and decisions made in the first meeting of the commission as well as the report submitted by Chairmen of the three committees constituted during the first meeting on introduction of fast growing varieties, cultivation and utilization of poplars in J&K.
The Committees have suggested new varieties for introduction, and cultivation of poplars to enhance productivity and quality. Special emphasis has been given on cultivation of highly productive clones procured only from the registered nurseries so that only male poplar clones are cultivated which will not produce cotton which is perceived as pollen and source of allergy.
The Commission also discussed the legal mechanism for registration of poplar nurseries so that planting material can be regulated in the interest of quality to facilitate farmers to utilize only the good varieties of poplar.
Certain suggestions on making different products, mainly plywood veneer, pencil making etc were also received which will provide raw material to these wood-based industries. Committees have also suggested the utilization of poplar wood from smaller dimension trees of around two feet girth which can be harvested in 6-8 years and facilitate early return to farmers.
The Commission also deliberated on improving the quality of planting stock of Poplar, better cultivation and management techniques for enhanced quality and reducing the period of cultivation for early returns to the farmers.
The Commission also finalized the modalities of formulating the policy on cultivation of poplars which shall be finalized soon and submitted to the Govt. for consideration.
The meeting was attended by Roshan Jaggi, PCCF/Director Department of Social Forestry J&K, Dr Tariq Masoodi, Dean Forestry, SKUAST, Kashmir, Rabi Kumar, APCCF Kashmir, Ramesh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu, Maraj -Ud -din Malik, Regional Director Social Forestry, Kmr, Dr Harpreet Kour, Special Secretary (Technical), Forest, Ecology & Environment Department, Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, DFO SF Division Kupwara, Dr. Tariq Kashani representing Director, Forest Research Institute, J&K, Dr Samant, Director, Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla, South Kashmir Wood Supplies Union, President, Pencil Slats/ Block Manufacturing Association, Kashmir, Representatives from Farmers/ Nursery Growers Associated with cultivation/production of Poplar (representing South and North Kashmir).