The first-ever two-day Buyer-Seller Meet on the Agarwood Products of Tripura concluded at Agartala on Wednesday.
The meet, aimed at building an economically viable Agarwood industry in Tripura, was jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Non-Timber Forest Product Centre of Excellence, Forest Department of Tripura government and Tripura SCATFORM Project.
During the inauguration, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb along with Forest Minister NC Debbarma, Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia and in presence of other dignitaries unveiled the 'Tripura Agar Policy 2021' which aims to transform the economy.
Virtually addressing the programme, Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal appreciated the state government's initiative to promote Agar of the state and explore the international market. He also praised the sustainable development of livelihood through rubber plantation and handloom and handicrafts to boost the state's economy. Goyal added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called him and union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav to examine the hurdles in connection with the promising business of Agar, which especially has huge scope in Tripura that can become the global capital of Agar.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the government has focused significantly on the development of the Agarwood sector as it is focusing on the overall development of the state by making people self-reliant as part of the clarion call for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' by the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Tinku Roy, chairman of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation Limited, claimed that there are more than 50 lakh Agar plants in Tripura but people were not getting any benefit out of it due to lack of a policy.
Quoting the chief minister, Mr Roy said that Tripura's Agar has a potential of Rs 2,000 crores in the next few years and will make people economically self-reliant.
Both buyers and sellers appreciated the initiative and hoped that Agar business, which was going on illegally in the state till now, will get a boost with the Tripura Agar Policy 2021.
The Agar species are critically endangered but due to adaptability of the land and low input for management and growth, intercropping adaptation could make Agar a preferred cash crop in Tripura.
Hence, in order to promote Agar tree, Agarwood based industry, its plantation, sustainable harvesting, the Tripura government has released the 'Tripura AgarWood Policy 2021', which aims to double agarwood plantation by the year 2025. The potential of Agar trade in the state is estimated to be around Rs 2,000 crores.
Aquilaria malaccensis or Agar Tree, an aromatic plant, is a substratum of economic prosperity in the North-Eastern region of India. Now, after Assam, the Tripura government has taken all-out initiatives to encourage farmers for commercial cultivation of agar.