Guwahati, July 08, 2023: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has unveiled a comprehensive roadmap aimed at boosting the income of farmers in the state by integrating them into India’s thriving furniture industry.
CM Sarma highlighted Assam’s advantageous agro-climatic conditions and hardworking workforce, which provide a solid foundation for successful large-scale commercial plantations. The newly devised roadmap outlines strategic initiatives to harness these strengths and empower farmers to tap into the growing demand for furniture products.
By diversifying their income sources and participating in the furniture sector, Assam’s farmers stand to benefit from increased economic opportunities. The government’s proactive approach demonstrates its commitment to supporting agricultural growth and rural development, paving the way for a prosperous future for Assam’s farmers and the state’s overall economy, CM Sarma stated through a Facebook post on Saturday.
In a significant move aimed at elevating farmers’ income and bolstering the state’s economy, Assam is placing a strong emphasis on adopting commercial forestry, particularly in the timber sector. This transformation is being facilitated through the amendment of The Tree Outside Forest Rules and Wood Based Industry Rules, marking a momentous development after 22 years.
To pave the way for this initiative, the Assam Agroforestry Development Board (AADB) has been established, setting a precedent in the region. The shift towards wood-based industries will unfold through several strategic measures.
Under the Amrit Vriksha Andolan, a remarkable endeavor will see the simultaneous planting of one crore saplings on October 2, 2023, across the state. Monetary incentives will be provided to nurture these saplings for a minimum of three years. To ensure widespread awareness, an “Awareness Rath” will be launched, spreading the message throughout Assam. Central and district-level events, along with engagement at the Gaon Panchayat level, will transform this into a Jan Andolan, a people’s movement.
Assam plans to leverage its CM’s Institutional Plantation program and the “One District, One Product” approach to drive the adoption of wood-based industries. Additionally, tea gardens will be encouraged to embrace commercial plantations. Corporate entities will be urged to contribute under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, supporting the state’s efforts and helping it earn carbon credits.
This collective effort aims to foster a resilient economy, a robust ecological framework, and remarkable entrepreneurial opportunities in Assam. By bringing together all stakeholders, the state is paving the way for sustainable growth and development while enhancing farmers’ livelihoods and ensuring a greener future.