Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) is a state-owned company established in 1975 with the aim of promoting the sustainable development of forests in Kerala. Over the years, KFDC has played a crucial role in protecting and conserving the rich biodiversity of the state’s forests, while also creating job opportunities for local communities and generating revenue for the government. The National Commission on Agricultural (NCA) has suggested setting up of Forest Development Corporation in every state which will be able to raise institutional finance for raising man-made forests so as to meet the domestic and industrial needs of Forest produce and re-clothe the degraded forest areas and bring them under productive use.
Kerala Forest Development Corporation operates under the guidance of the Department of Forests and Wildlife, Government of Kerala. The corporation has its headquarters in Thrissur and has several regional offices across the state. KFDC’s activities include timber harvesting, reforestation, eco-tourism, and forest conservation.
Timber harvesting is one of the primary activities of KFDC. The corporation manages several timber plantations across the state, which are used to produce high-quality timber for commercial use. The timber harvested by KFDC is sold through auctions to private companies and individuals. The revenue generated from the sale of timber is used to fund the corporation’s other activities, such as reforestation and eco-tourism.
Reforestation is another critical activity of KFDC. The corporation has undertaken several afforestation programs over the years, which have helped to increase the forest cover in the state. KFDC has also implemented a unique program called ‘Tree Bank,’ where individuals and organizations can deposit money towards the planting of trees. The program has been a great success, with many people contributing towards the cause of afforestation in the state.
Eco-tourism is a relatively recent addition to KFDC’s activities. The corporation has identified several locations in the state’s forests, which have been developed into eco-tourism destinations.
These destinations offer tourists an opportunity to experience the beauty of Kerala’s forests while also promoting the sustainable development of these natural resources. KFDC’s eco-tourism destinations include Munnar, Thekkady, and Wayanad.
Apart from these activities, KFDC is also actively involved in forest conservation. The corporation has set up several nurseries across the state, which produce saplings for reforestation and other conservation programs. KFDC also conducts awareness campaigns to educate local communities about the importance of forests and the need to conserve them.
KFDC’s activities have had a significant impact on the state’s economy and environment. The corporation has generated substantial revenue for the government, which has been used to fund various development programs in the state. KFDC’s activities have also created job opportunities for local communities, particularly in the forestry and tourism sectors. Moreover, KFDC’s activities have had a positive impact on the environment.
The corporation’s reforestation programs have helped to increase the forest cover in the state, which has led to a reduction in soil erosion, improved water retention, and enhanced biodiversity. KFDC’s eco-tourism destinations have also helped to promote the conservation of natural resources by generating awareness among tourists and local communities.
However, KFDC has faced several challenges in its efforts to promote sustainable forest development. One of the primary challenges is illegal logging, which continues to be a significant threat to the state’s forests.
KFDC has been working with the government and law enforcement agencies to tackle this issue, but more needs to be done to address this problem.
Core Activities of KFDC
- To acquire, purchase, or take over on lease or otherwise reserved forest, unreserved vested forests, and other lands from Kerala Government and others either with tree growth or not and to develop such areas and raise plantations of industrial use.
- To cultivate plantations of rubber, pepper, cashew, cocoa, cardamom, etc., and to buy, sell, export, import, process, distribute, and deal in all kinds of forest plants, trees, and agricultural crops.
- To acquire, purchase or take over or lease, or otherwise manage forests to maximize the production of timber and other produce.
- To carry on the business of foresters, planters, cultivators, sellers, dealers in timber and industrial woods, firewood, charcoal, etc., and to manufacture and dispose of, sell, and deal in forest produce.
KFDC Board has now approved the inclusion of the following also, as its other objects.
“To carry on Tourism Activities including Eco Tourism should be limited to the creation of temporary infrastructure to meet only the basic necessities of the Eco-Tourism.”
Who is the first lady forest officer in Kerala?
Shajna Karim, Wildlife Warden, Aralam Wildlife Division, began her professional life in the forest service as the first Muslim woman Range Forest Officer in India.
Which is the Oldest Forest in Kerala?
With a history spanning more than 1000 years, the Malayattoor Forest is regarded as one of Kerala’s oldest woods. The Western Ghats’ Malayattoor region, which is renowned for its abundant biodiversity and beautiful beauty, is where the forest is situated. The ancient tribes of the area, who revered the natural elements and regarded the forest as sacred, are thought to have used it as a significant pilgrimage place. The Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, and Indian giant squirrel are just a few of the endangered species that may be found in the Malayattoor Forest. It is presently a protected area Managed by the Forest Department and a well-liked trekking and ecotourism attraction.