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Introduction


The Forest Ecosystem


Chhattisgarh having about 44 percent geographical area under forest cover, which is very rich in biodiversity because of favorable agro-climatic conditions like good rainfall and comparatively less biotic interference. State has dense forest cover with all the three canopies in the forest area. The forest ecosystems can be broadly classified into following three types depending upon species composition.


S.No
Forest Type
Area (Sq. kms.)
% of G.Area
Biodiversity status
1.
Mixed Forests
34230
25.32
Very Rich
2.
Sal Forests
19682
14.56
Rich
3.
Teak Forests
5858
4.33
Fairly Rich
  Total
59772
44.21
 


Trade Volume of MFP in Chhattisgarh


S. No.
Category of MFP
Species/Produce
Estimated Trade in Rs. crores
1.
Specified

Tendu leaves (Diospyros melanoxylon roxp), Gums-Kullu (Stercalia urens) Dhawda (Anogeissus latifolia), Khair (Acacia catichu), Babul (Acacia nilotica)

720
2.
Non Specified

Sal seed (Shorea robust), Harra (Terminalia chebula), Bahera (Terminalia belerica), Imli (Tamarindus indica), Mahua (Madhuca latifolia), Lac (Karria lacca), Kosa (Erythroxylum coca) , Mahul Leaves (Bauhinia vahalii), chironjee (Buchanania lanzan), Baibidang (Enbelia tsjerium cotiam), Vanjeera (Vernonia anthelmintica), Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata), Aonla (Phyllanthus emblica) etc.

780
Total
1500

These produce are used by rural communities as medicine, food supplements and moreover, the rural communities earn substantial income especially during non-agriculture season through the collection and sale of these produce. Currently, trade in specified MFP is organized and controlled by the Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce (T & D) Co-operative Federation through three tier Co-operative bodies of Tendu leaves pluckers. The unorganized trade of non-specified MFP/Medicinal plants has led to low collection prices to the gatherers and unsustainable harvesting of MFP from forest areas. Moreover processing and industrial units are mainly located outside the state.


Chhattisgarh Government has declared the state as "Herbal state" with an objective to conserve plant Resource in natural form. Cultivation of medicinal plants in and out side the forest, non destructive harvesting, promotion of organized trade and promotion of MFP based industries for processing of MFP so as to generate the additional employment opportunities in the state, improve socio-economic status of rural communities and provide health cover are the main activities taken up by the MFP Federation to achieve the objectives of herbal state.