Andhra Paper’s initiative has grown to nearly 6,90,442 acres and now provides a means of economic survival for many rural farmers and their communities. As of the end of 2022, nearly 1.972 billion saplings have been planted.
In the early 1980s, Andhra Paper recognized that the pulp and paper industry would face challenges in the sourcing of fibrous raw materials due to the Forest Conservation Act and the Land Ceiling Act, which restricted the usage of available land for captive plantations. Consequently, Andhra Paper embarked on an ambitious plan to generate the raw material by coordinating with farmers to utilize their barren marginal and degraded lands.
This pioneering step marked the commencement of the farm forestry plantation activities, and was a turning point in the history of the company. Started in 1989, the social forestry initiative gradually spreaded to all Coastal districts and even to Krishna and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh. The program provides a means of survival for the small farmers, and improves the socio-economic status of their communities.
Andhra Paper Limited has done pioneering work in developing its unique model of Farm Forestry exclusively focussing in its catchment area of 150KM radius around the mill that has helped it not only in creating adequate supplies of raw material but also in developing a sustainable source of raw material for future as Long term strategy. The Company distributes saplings from partner nurseries to farmers and counsels them on best methods to grow them, thereby conserving natural resources and creating a healthier environment. Andhra Paper Limited’s farm forestry program is based on developing massive plantations on marginal and degraded farm lands. While doing so, Andhra Paper Limited supports farmer welfare programmes and champions the cause of an eco-friendly environment.
To date, around 1.972 Billion seedlings of fast-growing Subabul, Casuarina and Eucalyptus have been distributed to cover 6,90,442 acres of area in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states, and aided more than 80,683 beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are provided planting material at subsidized rates. The scheme has been widely accepted and adopted by the rural people and is now held as the benchmark in plantation activities.
The productivity of degraded lands has improved tremendously since the inception of the Farm forestry program, and soil erosion has been controlled. There has also been an observable improvement in moisture conservation.
Research and Development
Our research and development projects have helped in ensuring higher survival percentage of saplings, higher productivity per unit area and reduction in the rotation cycle. In order to be environmentally friendly, we have eliminated the traditional practices of poly bag nursery techniques, and other low cost planting techniques have been introduced. Andhra Paper have also introduced high yielding, disease resistant Casuarina clonal saplings, which ensures additional silvi-cultural gains for the farmers. The clonal research activities have been extended to the mill catchment areas of Andhra Pradesh in order to meet the growing demand of the beneficiaries.