Jorhat: The Centre has decided to introduce a new policy for Assam’s agarwood and has sought a report from the state government and cultivators to issue a formal notification soon.
The Union ministry for forest and environment has written to the chief conservator of forests (Assam), the ministry of development of the north east region (DoNER) and All Sanchi (Agar) Growers’ Association of Assam (Asgaa), seeking reports before making a final notification.
Bikash Borah, general secretary of Asgaa on Wednesday said, “We had sent memorandums to PM Modi and minister of forest and environment Prakash Javadekar to introduce a policy for the development of Agarwood cultivation in Assam on November 16, 2015. On receiving our memorandum, the ministry of forest and environment has replied and asked us to submit our suggestions to prepare a policy. Accordingly, we have submitted our demands and suggestions to the ministry.”
“Our demands include a government project for the development of agar cultivation, training for farmers, setting up an agar research centre, introduction of a common export policy for agar products, setting up an agar plantation board and financial assistance for agar cultivators in the state,” he said.
He added that they have sent an eight page letter to the government stating that there are great prospects for agar wood, like there were for tea, to create another green revolution for socioeconomic development in Assam as well as in the country.
Chief conservator of forest (Assam) JM Kouli said, “The Centre had sent a letter to us with several queries regarding the proposed new policy.
“We have already furnished a detailed report along with the answers. The matter is now pending before the ministry and we are waiting for the final notification.”