Tripura plans to promote commercial cultivation of Agar, sets

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Rs 2,000 cr business target Agartala, Jul 18 (PTI) The Tripura government has taken initiatives to promote commercial cultivation of Agar trees and set a target to achieve Rs 2,000 crore business from the sector in the next three years, an official said on Sunday.

The state has plans to export 75,000 kg of Agar chips and 1,500 kg of Agar oil in 2021-22 fiscal, he said.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his intervention to facilitate shipments of Agar oil and chips to international markets.

'Deb apprised the PM of the potential of Agar trees during the meeting. He said the state is expecting Rs 2,000 crore business from this sector in three years. PM Modi assured him of extending all possible supports to the project,' the official stated.

At present, over 50 lakh Agar trees are available in the state, he said, adding that the government has launched a draft 'Tripura Agar Wood Policy 2021', and set a target of doubling the plantation by 2025.

The chief minister also requested Modi for fixing quota for the export of Agarwood and its products under CITES rules.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.

The forest department in a notification said that Agar (Aquilaria malaccensis) is an evergreen tree that grows in Tripura in abundance.

'This species has a huge potential of creating another economic revolution in Tripura after rubber, bamboo and other major forestry crops. Low input cost for management and growth and intercropping adaptation could make agar a preferred cash crop,' it said.

The government is contemplating to bring a detailed policy for promotion of Agar tree plantation, sustainable harvesting and development of Agarwood-based Industry, it added. PTI JOY BDC BDC

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