Government proposes National Forest Policy 2018

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National Forest Policy
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The draft National Forest Policy 2018, which proposes to allow the use of degraded forest lands by industry, has been welcomed by wood-based industries including paper manufacturers. The draft policy was put into the the public domain for comment and feed in the second week of April 2018.

The new policy draft contains proposals for public-private-partnership for developing degraded forest areas that are available with forest development corporations, and the management of trees outside forests through agro-forestry and farm forestry. The draft suggests that proactive partnerships can increase tree cover and augment farmers’ incomes while meeting wood and fiber demand by the growing wood and paper industries.

Paper industry
Speaking on behalf of the paper industry, Saurabh Bangur, president of Indian Paper Manufacturers Association, said that the proposals cover some of the aspects that it has been pursuing with the Ministry of Environment and Forests over several years. The lack of domestically sourced wood fiber and pulp is a huge constraint for the Indian paper industry, which is reliant on the open market or farm forestry arrangements for fiber and on imports of pulp.

The quality of fiber from forestry that is appropriate for the efficient production of paper is a concern since it is well known that managed and growing forests yield fiber appropriate for paper making as well as providing the best carbon sinks for the environment. Apart from quality, supply and pricing which are concerns, Bangur said that with the new policy the option of paper mills tie-ups with state forest development corporations emerges. I found it in this article that better tree care services and nurturing from the start help produce better materials according to the info .

Seshasayee Paper and Board chairman N Gopalaratnam said agro forestry and plantation on degraded forest land will require substantial financial resources. He suggested that support could be provided to farmers through a Forest Development Finance Corporation with seed capital coming from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund, which is being transferred to the states.

Gopalaratnam further added that although price assurance to farmers is welcome, the price determination will need to be “fair and equitable.” He suggested that the tree species under consideration are also a critical component of the draft proposals and the new policy should also include Subabul and tropical acacia hybrids.

The plywood and board industry are perhaps facing a greater challenge than the paper industry since South-East countries have banned exports of wood-product inputs. While the industry is looking at imports from Africa, the new forest policy is a much needed step in the right direction both for raw materials and managed forests that can provide green cover.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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