Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sandalwood Farms: A 'Radical' Idea Whose Time has Come?

"Relaxed norms help sandalwood grower"
Firoz Rozindar, The Hindu (November 10, 2009)

"By selling around six tonnes of sandalwood to Karnataka Soaps and Detergent Ltd. (KSDL), S.C. Veerabhdrappa, a sandalwood farmer of Molakalmur taluk of Chitradurga district, became the first person in the State to sell the wood directly to KSDL after the amendment of the Karnataka Forest Rules, 1969.

"District Forest Officer Srinivasalu confirmed that officials of KSDL had recently visited Mr. Veerabhadrappa's fields and directly purchased the wood.

"Earlier, the Forest Department used to purchase the sandalwood from the farmers to sell it to agencies such as the KSDL or the Karnataka State Handicraft Development Corporation (KSHDC). Before the amendment, cultivators had to sell the wood to the Forest Department, and they had to wait for years to get their money as the value of the wood was calculated only after dressing-up of the wood. 'Now, within six months, they get their money, besides 10 per cent of approximate cost in advance,' the officer said. Mr. Veerabhdrappa who has been cultivating sandalwood for over a decade in his 80-acre land, said that he was expecting nearly Rs. 5 lakh from the sale. 'The KSDL has given Rs. 10,000 in advance, while the rest will be given after the dressing-up of the wood,' he said....."

Sounds like a good idea: letting folks who grow sandalwood as a crop make money.

The Lemming's read that sandalwood is - what else? - endangered because folks are digging it up in the wild. Considering demand for the wood, that's plausible.

And maybe there'll be more legitimately-grown sandalwood around, if the world has fewer of those byzantine bureaucratic mazes set up to keep farmers from making a living.

This, from the "apathetic" Lemming? I've discussed that before.

Not-entirely-related post, written with tongue planted firmly in cheek:

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