To promote and share recent advances, techniques and contributions in the field of non-timber forest products, the Tropical Forest Research Institute (TFRI), Jabalpur organized a two-day Regional Research Conference (RRC) on “Voice for the local: sustainable development of non-timber forest products for the generation of livelihoods” via virtual / online mode on December 13 and 14. Dignitaries, including IFS and other senior officials from the forestry departments of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) and the tribal cooperative The Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), New Delhi, etc. participate in the conference. Scientist and Academicians of Jawahar Lal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (JNKVV), Jabalpur, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKVV), Raipur, Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth (BSSKVV), DapoliRE, Indian Research Council of Forestry Allied institutes will also participate in sharing the work and progress of their respective institutes in the area of NTFPs.
Chief guest Arun Singh Rawat, IFS, DG, ICFRE, stressing the importance of DRR for the benefit of stakeholders, appreciated TFRI’s efforts to select the relevant topic of NTFPs for the need for local products. Highlighting the enormous pressure on forests, he suggested developing additional sustainable and value-added practices for NTFPs. He also advised to develop nursery techniques for the domestication of valuable NTFPs in order to minimize dependence on forests. Dr G Rajeshwar Rao, ARS, Director of TFRI, welcomed the guest, distinguished dignitaries and participants and expressed his gratitude for their participation. Stressing the importance of NTFPs in the forestry sector and the need to develop a well-organized system, he informed about the TFRI initiative for the development of NTFP centers. These centers will enhance the skills of forest dependent communities by providing a comprehensive mechanism ranging from cultivation, sustainable and post-harvest techniques for forest products to providing their links to the market.