Commercial Production from Subsistence Forests: An Oxymoron?

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"There is an ongoing debate on whether to reorient JFM to meet some of the country's commercial needs through JFM forests. It is being argued that about 14 million hectare of country's forest is under Joint Forest Management, not all the forest area is required to meet only the subsistence needs of the forest dependent community. Also given the importance of livelihood and income in the success of this programme, initiating commercial ventures into the programme can further strengthen it. Since a forest can yield much more than just timber, it is very much possible that bringing a commercial orientation does not necessarily mean a sacrifice of subsistence produce. NTFP harvests for commercial sale can easily be integrated with management of the forests for meeting subsistence needs. In this paper we examine the feasibility of introducing commercial ventures into Joint Forest Management. We also analyse and discuss the impact (through SWOT analysis) thereby of commercial production on subsistence needs. "The above discussions will be based on the analysis of actual experience with the marketing of JFM produce in states such as West Bengal and Haryana, where one of the main reasons cited for the success of the JFM programme is the commercial gains associated with the programme. We also provide a brief analysis of the attempts at involvement of industry in JFM in Andhra Pradesh. "In the section below we provide some of the salient features of JFM in the three states of West Bengal, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh."
IASC, common pool resources, forest management--economics, forestry, joint management, forest products