20 high-yielding varieties of timber, medicinal plants released

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) on Monday released 20 high-yielding varieties of timber and medicinal plants.

“These species were developed over a period of 10 to 15 years at different institutes… these varieties have high quality and faster yield,” S.S. Negi, Director General, Forest, told IANS.

The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, has developed ten improved varieties of Melia dubia or Malabar Neem and three clones of Eucalyptus, which are in high demand in the plywood and timber industry, an official statement said.

The Institute of Forest Genetic and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore, has developed five inter-specific hybrids of Casuarina equisetifolia X Casuarina junghuhniana, a type of pine tree, also to be used as timber.

According to the government records, India imports timber worth Rs 40,000 crore every year.

Negi, who granted approval for the release of these varieties, added that the new timber wood plants like Eucalyptus will be taller and grow almost twice as fast as the old varieties.

Similarly, Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur, developed two varieties of medicinal plant Rauvolfia serpentina, the statement added.

All the three institutes fall under ICFRE, Dehradun.

The ICFRE, established as an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, carries out the holistic research on forestry species.