Parliamentary panel recommends MSP for timber

Committee acted on idea by TERI to encourage aforestation 

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Thursday 07 March 2019
Photo: Getty Images

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change may soon come up with a scheme for minimum support price (MSP) for timber, similar to MSPs for crops. The idea was mooted to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

“Market support is the major constraint for motivating farmers for large-scale plantations. The Government of India should come up with MSP for wood/timber of minimum 10-15 trees species, which are remunerative for agro-forestry,” the Delhi-based non-profit suggested to the committee. An institutional mechanism for implementing such a scheme was needed, it said.

TERI also advocated for the creation of a government fund for the purpose: “The Government of India needs to make provision of funds to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore per annum for quality planting material, institutional strengthening, capacity building and loss in the implementation of MSP scheme for timber and other wood products.”

The parliamentary panel recommended that the suggestions “should be duly considered by the concerned Ministries/Departments” to strengthen afforestation.

TERI’s suggestion is vis-a-vis meeting India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) towards the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Paris.

India’s INDC include reduction in the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from 2005-levels and to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide-equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

The MSP scheme is geared towards the sequestering target set in the INDC.

“In 2015 we set a target of creating a carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 through forests. Through our research we found that two third of this target can be achieved by agro-forestry,” JV Sharma, TERI’s director of forestry and biodiversity said. “To encourage farmers to plant trees they must be given some economic incentive, and therefore we came with the idea of MSP,” he added. 


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