The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has planted 500 saplings each of sandalwood and bamboo at its Nashik training centre, spread over 262 acres of land. Having procured the sandalwood saplings from Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre (FFDC) in Uttar Pradesh and Bamboo saplings from Assam, the KVIC hopes it will fetch between Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore in the next 10 to 15 years.
A sandalwood tree matures in 10 to 15 years and as per the current rate and sells at Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh each. According to a statement issued to this effect on Thursday by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, plantation of sandalwood trees has high potential in the export market.
“Sandalwood and its oil have high demand in countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and the USA. However, there is a short-supply of sandalwood and hence a great opportunity for India to increase sandalwood plantation and occupy the position of a global leader in sandalwood production,” read the note.
Similarly, a special variety of bamboo, Bambusa Tulda, used for making Agarbatti sticks, has been planted in Maharashtra with an aim to support the local Agarbatti industry and to create regular income flow for training centre.
The Ministry’s statement said it is seeking to encourage commercial plantation of sandalwood and bamboo. MSME minister Nitin Gadkari has lauded the initiative of KVIC.
Unique asset monetisation drive
One bamboo plant gets ready for harvesting in the third year. Each matured log of bamboo, weighing approximately 25 kg, sells at an average of Rs 5 per kg. At this rate, one matured log of bamboo fetches nearly Rs 125.
Each bamboo plant, after the third year, produces minimum of 5 logs and thereafter, the production of bamboo logs doubles every year. This means, the 500 bamboo saplings will provide at least 2,500 bamboo logs in the third year and will generate an additional income of nearly Rs 3.25 lakh for the Nashik training centre. This income is expected to double every year.
Further, in terms of quantity, 2,500 bamboo logs will weigh approximately 65 MT. It will be used primarily for making Agarbatti sticks and could help in generating large-scale local employment.
In the last few months, KVIC has planted nearly 2,500 trees of Bambusa Tulda in different parts of India. 500 saplings of Bambusa Tulda have been planted in cities like Delhi, Varanasi and Kannauj apart from the plantation in Nashik to ensure local availability of raw material for Agarbatti manufacturers at reasonable costs.
“Plantation of sandalwood and bamboo trees on vacant land aims at monetisation of the property. At the same time, it will serve the dual purpose of meeting the huge global demand of sandalwood while bamboo plantation will support the local Agarbatti manufacturers in the light of the recent decision taken by the Central government to make India self-reliant,” said KVIC Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena.
“We are identifying more such properties of KVIC across the country where such plantations can be launched,” Saxena added, maintaining that if the farmers start planting just two sandalwood trees in their fields, they can become economically stronger.