India’s forests make significant contribution to the national economy. These forests annually provide us about 8.79 million cubic meters of industrial wood (total annual requirement being 15 million cubic meters).
These are mainly obtained from teak (area 8.9 million ha; 50% alone in M.P.), sal (area 11.6 million ha.), sisham, rosewood, deodar, chirr, pine and spruce etc. Besides these forests annually supply about 20 million cubic meters of fuel wood (according to Forest Deptt. only 13 million cubic meters).
In Indian forests bamboos occupy 1,00,209 sq. kilometres of forested area yielding annual production to about 4,309 thousand tones (Assam 28%, Madhya Pradesh 19%, Karnataka 11%, Orissa 11%). About 17% of the annual production is utilised in paper and pulp industry. Forests also supp about 80,000 tones of sabai grass annually (fr sub Himalayan area, Bihar, Orissa, West Beng Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh) for use paper and pulp industry.
Sandalwood trees occupy about 15,000 km. of the country’s forest area whose 85% liesi Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh state this is largely utilised in making aromatic stances and extracting sandalwood oil.
Forests provide about 2 lakh tones of Teni’ leaves (35% from Madhya Pradesh, 25% from Orissa’ 20% from Maharshtra, and 16% from Andhra Pradesh) which is utilised in biri making. This gives employment to about 2 lakh people. Besides biri makin Tendu leaves are also exported to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
About 45,000 tones of lakh is annually obtained from the Indian forests (40% from Bihar, 30% from Madhya Pradesh, 15% from West Bengal and 5% from Maharashtra). About 95% of this production is exported to foreign countries.
Export of major and minor products from the country’s forests fetches about 1,000 million rupees worth of foreign exchange. But India imports about 5,000 million rupees worth of forest products (mostly paper and pulp) from foreign countries annually. This imbalance in trade can be removed by the scientific development of forest resources of the country.