Dehradun, October 29
A stakeholders’ meet as a side event of the 24th session of the International Poplar Commission was held at the convocation hall of Forest Research Institute here today.

Joris Van Acker from Belgium and Ian McIvor from New Zealand in addition to NGOs, representatives from industries, State Forest Department officers and officials, poplar-growing farmers from Nepal and Indian states like Haryana and Punjab attended the meet. The scientists and officers of FRI and ICFRE along with Directors of ICFRE institutes also participated. VK Bahuguna, Director General, ICFRE, welcoming all the participants from far-off places both national and international, emphasised that for the benefit of common people the conservation of biodiversity was a must.
He said that methods had to be devised to manage the material resource to increase livelihood. Bahuguna said that as poplar was distributed in a restricted zone in Northern India and ICFRE had successfully introduced it in Vaishali district of Bihar, there was possibility of replicating the same in other parts of the country. The stakeholders' meet offered a platform to all concerned to discuss on the issues, challenges and opportunities of poplar growing and utilisation in the industries.
Speaking on the occasion, Director, FRI, PP Bhojvaid, said that about 10 lakh hectares were planted with poplar in North India and poplar was a species outside conventional forests, which was helping to bridge the gap between supply and demand. This was an apt opportunity for the farmers and industrialists to discuss their problems and learn from each other's experiences. He emphasised that scientists from FRI should take note of the problems being faced by the farmers and suggest their solutions for taking up research in newer areas in relation to poplar and willows.
During the technical session, scientists YP Singh, Shamila Kalia from FRI and Dhiman from WIMCO elaborately presented on the nursery diseases, and pest and management of poplar. JP Chandra, through the lanes of memories, briefly explained the introduction of poplar clones in India during early seventies by FRI. He stressed that other than fertiliser and other inputs, land preparation was equally important for growing poplar, while optimum density plantation should be raised to have an ideal yield. Niki Plania Chaudhary presented the economic analysis of poplar based agro forestry system. Avtar Singh also explained poplar-based agro forestry system and that it's productivity depended on the age of the tree.
AS Dogra from Punjab presented his views on cultivation of poplar in Punjab during the meet. Dinesh Kumar, FRI, coordinated the stakeholders' meet.
Jonhs Acker, in his presentation, said that composite wood of poplar had many promising uses and had great potential for using minimum wood with maximum output. Gajendra Singh Rajput, representing Yamuna Nagar plywood industry, expressed that there should be a separate laboratory for research on plywood industry and by developing high-yield varieties, the rotation of poplar should be reduced and the Central and state government should relax tax on poplar industry.

Ian McIvor of New Zealand explained how poplar and willow trees added economic value to the farmers. Various doubts during the question-answer session were cleared, which covered the subjects like poplar disease, both fungal and insects, and their 

Also, during the day, the 46th meeting of the executive committee of International Poplar Commission was held at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The International Poplar Commission (IPC) was a technical statutory body of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and its formal sessions were held every four years in different regions of the world to address topical issues and demonstrate unique applications of poplar and willow culture and management, reflecting their social, cultural, environmental and economic significance.
The executive committee is the driving force of the International Poplar Commission (IPC). The functions of the International Poplar Commission are to study the scientific, technical, social and economic aspects of poplar and willow cultivation; to promote the exchange of ideas and material among research workers, producers and users; to arrange joint research programmes; to stimulate the organisation of congresses and study tours; and to report and make recommendations to national poplar commissions and poplar researchers, growers and users.
The executive committee facilitates the collection, synthesis and dissemination of information and knowledge on poplars and willows through publications and meetings. It gives it's opinion on the candidacy of countries offering to organise regular sessions every four years and also gives it's opinion to the Director-General of FAO on all matters concerning poplar and willow cultivation and timber use.
The executive committee has 12 members from different countries elected in a personal capacity for a four-year term and meets during each session of the IPC, and at least once between full sessions. The current chairman is Stefano Bisoffi from Italy. The Forestry Department of FAO hosts the permanent secretariat of the IPC to provide administrative support duties to the commission and it's executive committee. After the last meeting of the executive committee of International Poplar Commission (IPC) in 2010 in Orvieto, Italy, the 46th executive committee of its executive committee was held here today.
The term of the current executive committee will end in 2012 with its 46th executive committee in Dehradun. By the end of this week a new executive committee will be elected by the heads of delegations of each IPC member-country among the candidates nominated by National Poplar Commissions (NPC). 

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