Wood Technological Institute to be set up

Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers H N Ananth Kumar on Friday said the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) and Central Plastic Institute will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) within a month to set up a Composite Wood Technological Institute.

Speaking after inaugurating a three-day International Conference on ‘Wood is Good: Current Trends and Future Prospects in Wood Utilisation’, organised by IWST, he said forest cover in the country was shrinking, alternatives like plastic-composite wood, which is 70 per cent waste wood and 30 per cent plastic, should be given prominence. This will help reduce exploitation of timber from forests. And the Agriculture, Fertilisers and Forest ministries will be a part of the proposed project, he added.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, G V Sugur, said: “The recent Wood Balance study shows that Karnataka annually needs 600 million cubic metres of wood, but gets only 315 million cubic metres. To bridge this gap, wood is being imported. Looking at demand and supply gap, department has not issued any fresh timber licences since 2012. Thus we are promoting plantation in private areas through agro and farm forestry, he said.

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