IPAPPM began its Farm Forestry Program in1989 to promote pulpwood plantation on farmlands in partnership with the farmers in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In the same year, the company commenced propagating high quality clonal saplings by starting its first ClonalProduction Center (CPC) at Rajahmundry.
In next three decades, the company developed strong networks and resources in clonal sapling production and forestry extension, while opening four more CPCs to promote high yielding Casuarina Clones among the farming community of the state.
In order to build a long term, cost effective and sustainable raw material resource base within the vicinity of the mill, from the year 2018 onwards, the company decided to pursue forestry activities within 150 km of the mill by building strong linkages with the local farming community. Moreover, the company has envisaged a long term Fiber and Forestry Strategy in 2018 for long-term sustainable supply of fibrous raw material. Under this strategy, the company decided to propagate all pulpwood species requirement of the mill, within 150 km from the mill with an aim to procure around 80% of the total fiber requirement from this area in the next 7-8 years. Accordingly, the company has started collaborating with the privatenurseries for production and distribution of clones.
High yielding, disease and pest resistant pulpwood species with desirable characteristics of fast and uniform growth that are being produced today in CPC at Kadiam, would now be produced in these selected Partner CPCs as well, from 2019. This strategy would ensure sustained & increased supply of desired clonal saplings, year on year, which in turn would ensure sustained wood supply within 150 km radius from the mill. The private CPC collaboration approach thus develops employment and sustained income for propagating clones (via nurseries/CPCs) while simultaneously benefiting the farmers with quality plants in nearby areas, cutting down transportation expenses.
"International Day of Forests" and "World Water Day" are both declared by United Nations, to be observed every year on 21st March and 22nd March respectively. While the former was introduced in 2012, the latter was done way back in 1992. The theme this year is "Forests & Water". The focus has been on the importance of forests, and also trees outside forests; as well as on preservation and recharging, replenishing of ground water. On this occasion, IPAPPM, through its Farm Forestry function, took up events to commemorate these days and spread important message in its catchment area by arranging farmers' awareness meetings in surrounding districts of West Godavari and East Godavari. While gathering huge number of farmers at nearly all the locations made memorable and meaningful events, it was further made interesting by long interactive sessions between the farmers and the IPAPPM officials including Vice President-Forestry . It was encouraging to witness successful Casuarina clonal farmers as well as people from various fields like retired Professor of Geology of Andhra university, Senior Officer of Tobacco board and village heads of respective villages speaking on varied subjects ranging from importance of Afforestation, Water conservation and protecting environment by undertaking plantations on their fields irrespective of species with an understanding that each and every tree planted, sequester carbon and also act as water percolation medium to recharge ground water. Meetings ended with distribution of Krishak Smart Card to the farmers who have got involved in our Farm Forestry programme through www.rythukosam.com .
In the journey of making sustainable forest management its one of the major focus points, IPAPPM began the campaign to do something more meaningful for the rural economics by introducing Casuarina clones besides prevalent product of seedrooted saplings for plantation. Today, IPAPPM is running 5 Clonal Propagation Centers (CPCs) across 3 districts of Andhra Pradesh having 69 Polyhouses (polythene covered rooms where clonal saplings are kept) engaging average 280 woman-power daily. In a major shift, further in the culture and work practice, IPAPPM has recently introduced the concept of Team Based Working System where responsibility of each poly house has been given to one lead lady who is made the Team Leader. In this way, not only the accountability has become clear with a resultant 'sense of ownership', but the ladies have got the opportunity to develop and practice leadership, too.
Clonal forestry requires mist chambers, growth chambers and poly house supplied with high energy or power resources for vegetative propagation to control the moisture and temperature.
APPM has adopted an innovative method of tree cloning through simple poly house that can be established without energy or power supply at even remote places. These are called zero energy poly houses made at a very low cost using polythene sheets and local supporting structure. The mist in these chambers is produced by water vapor from the channels made and filled with water at the peripheral region of the poly house. Water channels produce vapor by evaporation using heat from the sun light during the day. This creates relative humidity required for rooting of plants inside the structure. This process creates adequate temperature and relative humidity without using any energy resources to produce best clones.