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Survey of economic implications of fast-growing tree plantations for Uttar Pradesh in India Nautiyal, Jagdish Chandra

Abstract

The state of Uttar Pradesh occupies about 9 per cent of the total geographical area of India, supports more than 16 per cent of its 440 million people, but has less than 6 per cent of the Indian forests. It is, in many ways, an underdeveloped part of a developing nation. There is a great potential for contributions of Uttar Pradesh to the economic development of India, by the expansion of the U. P. pulp and paper industry. Per capita consumption of paper and paper-board in India is expected to increase from about 1.3 Kg in 1965 to 6.2 Kg in 2000. If the production in the country increases as anticipated in this thesis, and if more raw materials are not made available, shortages of both long-fibred and short-fibred raw materials will begin to be felt strongly by about 1975 and will progressively increase. To reduce these shortages the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department is establishing plantations of fast-growing tree species. The Mysore hybrid eucalypt is being planted to provide short-fibred pulpwood and plantations of the bamboo (D endrocalamus strict us) will yield long-fibred pulp. Present plans of the U. P. Forestry Department have not paid enough attention to growing long-fibred material. The Department should concentrate mainly on the production of long-fibred material because much short-fibred material is available as sugar cane bagasse in the U. P. It also could be secured when needed if eucalypt and poplar plantings were made by farmers. Eucalypts, pines, poplars and bamboos have been discussed regarding their suitability for production of pulpwood in the forest areas of U. P. Greatest attention has been given here to eucalypts but it is concluded that pines and bamboos are the most desirable. The need for producing within India all of the pulp and paper required domestically has been considered more important than that for supplying paper and paper-board to Indian consumers at world prices. At present It appears as if the foreign exchange conserved by reducing pulp and paper imports can be more usefully spent in buying machinery, fertilizers, and technical knowledge. India can become self-sufficient in its paper and paper-board needs after 1980 only if enough long-fibred raw materials are produced. Therefore, major trials of potentially suitable, fast-growing, long-fibred species should be established soon. The paper industry in U. P. should continually strive to improve its technology and bring down its costs of production because in the long run it will have to become competitive in world markets. The U. P. Forest Department should not judge its efficiency solely by the size of net surplus created in a plantation program. It should also consider the potential contributions of its plantations in the growth of Indian industry and improvement of real national income. Intensive economic analyses of the problems discussed here should be undertaken to refine objectives for the long-term development of U. P.'s forest industry.

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