Managing Village Plantations through Tree Growers' Co-operatives: Emerging Issues and Policy Implications

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"This paper seeks to examine the issues emerging from the crafting of institutional arrangements for the management of village common lands. This has been done by analysing six Tree Growers' Co-operative Societies (TGCSs), which are contemporary institutions, formed under the aegis of the National Tree Growers' Co- operative Federation (NTGCF). These TGCSs are involved in the rehabilitation and management of degraded village common lands. "The analysis of the sample TGCSs revealed that the various issues confronted in the management of plantations on village common lands are: encroachment of plantation site; distribution of benefits accruing from the new plantations among members and between members and non-members and geographical configuration hamlets and plantation site. It was found that the formation of TGCSs is hampered by the problems in acquiring degraded revenue village common lands. The analysis of the sample TGCSs corroborates that performance of a TGCS is affected by geographical configuration of forest users from the plantation. These issues are not only related to TGCSs but also to Joint Forest Management (JMF) Programmes implemented in various parts of India. The paper argues that there is a need to clearly define the role of implementing agency and the government agencies. It also argues that the TGCS should be provided more flexibility to tackle these issues and the implementing agencies and Forest Departments should play a facilitating role by removing the obstacles in the way of formation of TGCS."
IASC, common pool resources, forestry, plantations, village organization, cooperatives, plantations, joint management, farmers' associations--case studies