During the past 5-6 years, the organization has made crucial/critical contribution to the national economy by way of enhancing the green cover in the country in forest landscapes as well as under agroforestry; increasing wood productivity; enhancing wood durability through preservation techniques; developing composite woods; enhancing local livelihoods; etc. Highlights of some of these contributions are given below:
1- Enhancing Green Cover and Wood Productivity
i - Eucalyptus and Poplar based Agroforestry systems: ICFRE has popularized Eucalypts and Poplar based agroforestry system over more than 3000 km2 area. Successfully introduced Poplar in agroforestry practices in Bihar on pilot basis, and 66.70 lakh plants have been supplied to the farmers in Vaishali district between 2006 and 2012.
ii - Casuarina Breeding Program: 20-year Casuarina Breeding Program resulted in establishment of Second Generation Seedling Seed Orchards and Clonal Seed Orchards with release of 7 high yielding clones of Casuarina equisetifolia and 7 high yielding clones of Casuarina junghuhniana. The clones of Casuarina junghuhniana, especially ‘CJ9,’ have proved to be very fast growing and are much sought. Reduced the rotation age from 5 years with local seed to 3 years with improved seed. Used the improved germplasm in the form of seed and clonal material in establishing plantations over more than 9,000 hectares. The productivity gain of 13% to 28% has been recorded for plantations raised with seed from first generation seed orchards. The Casuarina plantations over new areas with improved seed have also resulted in an estimated increased biological nitrogen production worth Rs. 9.5 crore.
iii- Improvement of Poplar Clones: Introduced many improved and disease resistant clones viz. S7C8, 82-35-4, 113324 into large scale Poplar plantations in 2000 and re-evaluated performance of G48 clone. G48 clone alone constitutes more than 50% of the total Poplar being planted in north-west India. These improved clones are free from leaf blight disease and yield 15-20% higher volume than that recorded for the earlier clones.
iv - Development of High-Yielding Eucalypts Clones: Developed many high yielding and disease resistant hybrid clones of Eucalypts. Developed and released 11 clones of Eucalyptus camaldulensis during 2011 and 2014. These clones have demonstrated a genetic gain of 17% in height and 14% in DBH.
v - Disease Resistant Shisham Clones: Released a disease resistant clone DS-4 of Shisham.
vi - Melia (Melia dubia) Improvement Program (2008-2021): Identified and tested 10 cultivars with long straight boles and an average yield that is more than double the average yield of the non-selected germplasm.
2- Technologies developed and Patented
Developed Technologies in support of Rural & Tribal Livelihoods
i - Developed a bio-polymer based binding material (Jigat) for incense sticks from the locally available bio-resources (environmentally safe and produced about 60% of the cost of the imported binding material). About 36,000 metric tonnes of binding material (Jigat) worth Rs. 432 crore (Rs. 120 per kg) is being used every year by the Industries.
ii - Developed Samridhi – Multiplying Benefits from Silkworm Rearing causes reduction of the cocoon spinning period to just 15-18 hours.
iii - Standardizing lac cultivation techniques on Flemingia semialata, an evergreen native shrub, resulting in much higher yield per acre and average annual returns of about Rs. 80,000.
iv - Developed a simple equipment to treat bamboo culms and also developed an environmentally safe treating agent.
v - Developed bio growth enhancers under brand names Tree Rich Bio-booster, Vermico-IPM, and N-Fixer (with Frankia). N-Fixer with Frankia is especially very useful in raising successful Casuarina nursery and plantations.
vi - Developed Crawl Clean - a green insecticide developed from leaf powders of 5 plant species (Melia dubia, Pongamia pinnata, Aristolochia bracteata, Adhatoda vasica & Vitex negundo) - to control Papaya Mealy Bug on forestry tree species like Teak. Also developed a pesticidal formulation based on surfactants for managing shoot borers from non-edible oil seeds of Karanja (Pongamia pinnata) and Ritha (Sapindus mukorrosi) without any emulsifier and preservatives.
Technologies patented: Important patents granted/in process in recent years
i - An Apparatus for treatment of green bamboo (granted)
ii - A Vacuum Kiln (in process)
iii - An eco-friendly, economical and non hazardous wood preservative (ZiBOC) (granted)
iv - A process for obtaining Phyto-ecdysteroids from weeds of amaranthaceae for the synchronized maturation of mulberry silkworm' (in process)
v - EuGalLure- Plant volatile for trapping Eucalyptus Gall wasp, Leptocybe invasa (in process)
vi - Composition of Soap (in process)
vii - An adhesive composition comprising defatted Shorea robusta(Sal) seeds (in process)
viii - A pesticidal formulation based on surfactants from not edible oil seeds (in process)
3- Short-term Professional Assignments and Services
i - Carrying Capacity Study of Saranda Forest in Jharkhand to guide balancing mining with conservation (for MoEF&CC)
ii - Detailed project report on forestry interventions in five riparian states (for Ministry of Water Resources, GoI)
iii - Survey-cum-study of medicinal plants in the country to assess their commercial demand (for National Medicinal Plants Board).
iv - Mine Reclamation & Rehabilitation Plans in respect of iron ore mines operating in Karnataka
v - Developed Protocol for Thermal Modification of Wood five tree species Eucalypts, Poplars, Shisham, Melia, and Mango (for Punjab Forest Department)
vi - Environmental Audit of Coal Mines across the country (for Coal India Ltd.)
vii - Identifying the pests/ pathogens of Deodar and Willow in Himachal Pradesh, Shisham in northern Indian States, Chir pine in Haryana, Anogeissus in Rajasthan, propagation of medicinal plants, bamboo propagation and its management in the field, soil conservation measures, management of exotic weeds, etc.
viii - Provided 47 major consultancy services in environment management including EIA studies, carrying capacity studies, monitoring of green conditions of environmental clearances, preparation of reclamation and rehabilitation plans for mines, biodiversity studies etc.
4- Forestry Extension
i- Establishment of Van Vigyan Kendras (VVKs)- Established 29 VVKs with the objective of dissemination technologies to the user groups.
ii - Demo Village: Nine demo Villages have been established for demonstration of technologies developed by ICFRE for sensitizing the stakeholders.
iii - Networking of VVKs with KVKs: To fill the gap between the need and resource, networking of VVKs with KVKs have been started.
iv - Tree Growers Mela (TGM): IFGTB, Coimbatore had taken an initiative in this regard by organizing Tree Growers Melas since 2009. It has become a regular feature in all other institutes such as IWST, RFRI, AFRI and FRI.