The Maharashtra government has decided to set up Maharashtra Forest Industrial Development Corporation (MFIDC), under the state forest ministry, to promote and develop manufacturing industries based on forest products from the state.
Planned on the lines of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), the government has constituted an advisory committee to conduct a comprehensive study for setting up the MFIDC.
According to officials, the objective would be to develop and promote industries based on forest products such as wooden furniture, bamboo furniture and non-timber forest products (NTFP), as well as to empower the people associated with it.
The official said that the MFIDC would facilitate and regulate the manufacturing and supply of high-quality forest products and make it available to common people at reasonable prices.
On an experimental basis, two forest-based products clusters are being planned in Chandrapur and Nagpur district.
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“There is a plan to set up furniture cluster in Nagpur and a cluster for herbal and its processing industries is planned in Chandrapur. There is a need to outline a framework of this and conduct an extensive study in both areas, along with the setting up of the MFIDC… hence an advisory committee has been setup,” an official said.
The committee would study and prepare a plan to provide employment for women, OBCs, SC, and STs through this industry. It will also explore use of technology to sell forest produces through e-commerce platforms and shopping malls.
At present, around 20 per cent (61,907 sq. km) of the total geographical area of Maharashtra is forested and most of it falls under rhe Vidarbha region.