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Description and analysis

1. Use of privately owned agricultural land for farm forestry by the large and small farmers of Bhavnagar district

1.1 The Extent of Farm Forestry in the District

In Bhavnagar district during the period 1980-4, a little over 11 million and much over 58 million plants were grown under farm forestry on irrigatied and unirrigated lands, respectively. Farmers of no other district in the state showed enthusiasm for cultivating trees to this extent. Both large and small farmers adopted farm forestry, in expectation of a high internal rate of return; Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.), considered to be a very remunerative crop, was generally the species of choice.

Profile of Bhavnagar District

Farm Forestry in Bhavnagar District:

    - Only 17.97. of cultivated land in the district is cultivable wasteland

    - Major foodgrains: bajri (Pennisetum typhoides), jowar (millet), wheat (Treticum, aestivum), rice Cash crops: groundnuts, cotton, mangoes, coconuts

    - Cooperative societies are important - primarily agricultural credit societies, advancing short- and medium-term loans to members for purchasing agricultural material inputs1

    - 33% of the population is employed by 2 major industries: cotton textile and food products manufacturing

    - 72% of the villages in the district have electricity

General Information:

Before 1979 (before farm forestry)

    - 60% of land under cultivation; less than 37. forests

    - >50% of cultivated land was in cash crops: groundnuts and cotton; remainder was in food crops: bajri, jowar. wheat, rice, gram tur, and mung

After 1979

    - yield/hectare increased for some crops (e.g. in 1971, yield was 1,394 kg/ha; in 1981, yield increased to 2,520 kg/ha)

    - yield did not increase for groundnuts; farmers were interested in replacing it with tree crops

1.2 The Case of a Large Farmer in Sihor Talkuka of Bhavnagar


Vithubhai Patel is a progressive farmer who cultivates forest trees according to high density planting techniques. He believes that the future of energy plantations, i.e., the cultivation of trees for producing fuélwood and power, is quite promising in Gujarat. He himself grows high-cost trees like Eucalyptus, teak (Tectona grandis) and sandalwood for timber.

1.2.1 The history of the involvement of the Patel family in the cultivation of fruit trees and. subsequent adoption of farm forestry

The Patel family originally practiced the cultivation of ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lam.), a locally grown nutritious fruit. Until 1978, ber and other fruits such as guava, lemon and sapota were the only crops on this farm. By applying cultivation methods used on conventional fieldcrops to fruits, the farm produced a superior quality commodity which enabled the farmer to earn large profits. Encouraged by this, the family decided to take up farm forestry. Fruit cultivation was also continued.

1.2.2 Role of the Forest Department

In 1978, the farm obtained free seedlings, primarily for Eucalyptus and subaval (Leucaena leucocephala), from the Forest Department nursery In Sihor. Later, in 1984, slower-growing species of forest trees such as teak and neem (Azadirachta indica) were acquired to obtain more valuable timber. In both enterprises the farm was given technical help by the Forest Department. Although Patel was initially helped and encouraged by foresters, he ís now seen to be in a position to give them advice regarding his techniques of planting and maintaining both fast- and slow-growing species of forest trees.

1.2.3 The pattern of intensive cropping on the farm

The Patel farm is on 24 ha. (58.28 acres) in a semi-arid zone. The region has suffered from three consecutive years of drought and famine in the past eight years (1978-86). Only 8 ha. (21.76 acres) and 3 ha. (7.4 acres) have been devoted to the cultivation of fastand slow-growing forest trees respectively. The remaining land on the farm continues to produce fruit trees.

Patel selected close spacing of 45 cm x 45 cm and 60 cm x 60 cm to plant Eucalyptus and subavul, respectively. Thus, on average, there were 25,000 trees per ha. (10,000 trees per acre). Harvesting was planned for the fourth year. In order to ensure a high survival rate, a mixture of organic manure, good clayey soils, B.H.C. dust (10 per cent) and chemical fertiliser (NPK) was filled into holes bored in the pits in which the seedlings were planted.

During each rainy season and summer the soil was worked once a month by a power tiller, so that the soil retained more water. Irrigation was carried out by sprinklers once a week during the summer months (March to June) and once a month during winter (October to February). During the monsoon months (July to September) no irrigation was required unless the monsoon rains failed. Nearly 600 kg. of urea was annually applied to each acre.

1.2.4 Costs and benefits from farm forestry

Over a period of four years (1978-82) the family spent about Rs. 8,700 per acre on material inputs for field preparation, irrigation, application of fertilisers and insecticides, and on cutting 3,000 trees in the fourth year.

The other inputs (hours of labour) for four years came to about Rs. 5,700. Thus Patel had to, borrow about Rs. 14,500 from the bank, with an added interest of nearly Rs. 3,000, charged at the rate of 12.50 per cent. Patel's total cost came to Rs. 17,500 for each acre of land used to cultivate forest trees.

So far the family has harvested five times and shown increasing profits with each successive year. A three-year cutting cycle has been established. Preferring the pattern of selective cutting, in the fourth year (1982) Patel harvested the best one-third of the trees (i.e. 3,000 trees per acre), cutting the second best in the fifth year. The remaining one-third was left for the sixth year's harvest. In the seventh year after planting, trees cut in the fourth year were ready to be harvested again. This pattern provided him with a continuous harvest and thereby a regular income from the trees.


Each tree produced an average of 12 kg. of marketable wood, 1.5 kg. of marketable fuelwood and 1.5 kg. of unmarketable wood. The first two categories of wood were sold while the last one was collected by the farm labourers who were asked to put some aside for Patel's family and take the rest for their own use. Giving away unmarketable wood to the labourers was justified on the grounds that otherwise Patel would have had to pay for its removal.

In terms of biomass per acre per year with 10,000 trees per acre Patel's farm produced 36 tonnes of timber (or 90 tonnes per ha. pe year), 4.5 tonnes of fuel wood for the market and 4.5 tonnes o, fuelwood for domestic use.

Sale of timber

The timber and fuelwood were sold only to those buyers who would collect the products from the farm. The price per tree was in the range of Rs. 16 to 40 from the first harvest, so that in the fourth year of farm forestry Patel received an income of Rs. 31,700; this was more than doubled in the fifth year. An Income of Rs. 127,000 against the cost of Rs. 25,000 in the sixth year gave the farmer a cost-benefit ratio of 1:5.08.

Generally speaking, in this region where other cash crops such as groundnut and cotton are grown extensively, a cost-benefit ratio of 1:2 is considered to indicate a successful enterprise. An enterprise with a cost-benefit ratio of 1:5.08 in a three year cycle of harvesting could, in comparison, be described as highly successful.

1.2.5 Labour management

Before 1978, i.e., before Patel adopted the cultivation of forest trees, the labour requirement on his farm was between 80 and 100 labourers, hired on a daily basis. Now only 40 labourers on daily wages are employed on a permanent basis. Another 20 labourers are hired at each harvest. There has thus been nearly a 50 per cent reduction in labour employment on this farm. The daily wages given to each labourer in December 1986 were Rs. 12.00 per day for 8 hours of work, after which they had to be paid according to an overtime rate of Rs. 4 per hour.

Patel expects the daily wages for labour to increase, but can not foresee any reduction in his requirements. He has provided accommodation of one room each to six labour families. These labourers supervise the work of others hired from outside. They get free housing, water, fuelwood and fodder on the farm, while the outside labour is allowed to collect the unmarketable fuelwood and a few headloads of grass for fodder.

1.2.6 Problems on the farm

Eight years of farm forestry experience has given the Patel family full confidence in the usefulness of growing trees on a commercial basis. To increase their gains, Patel is presently experimenting with the cultivation of sandalwood. As more and more farmers are drawn to farm forestry, Patel expects the saturation of the market for ordinary polewood and therefore wants to expand his cultivation of more expensive timbers such as teak and sandalwood.

Patel was initially faced with the problem of unmarketable lops which remained on the farm even after providing for the domestic needs of his family and the labourers. In October 1985, he adopted a practice to remedy this. The farm now operates a gasifier plant, generating 100 kw. of power, which is used by the Gujarat Electricity Board. This project is part of a scheme devised by M/S Jyoti Limited, Baroda, working for the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA). By joining the scheme, Patel is able to sell previously unmarketable wood for Rs. 300 per tonne. The wood to be used in the gasifier plant has to be cut into pieces of 15 to 25 cm, requiring the labour of two persons each day. A power saw is used for efficient cutting.

On this farm, therefore, the problems of market saturation and a surplus of unmarketable wood have been effectively solved.

1.2.7 Outlook on future prospects of the farm

In addition to earning large profits for the Patel family, this particular farm has provided a model for developing tree plantations on the basis of its techniques of high density planting and intensive use of fertilisers and irrigation. Trees planted under these conditions show a survival rate of 90 per cent and give at least 30 per cent of their total biomass in the form of fuelwood. Patel, a trained engineer, has also worked with the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, Bombay, on the development of a strategy for high density agroforestry. His collaboration with M/S Jyoti Limited, Baroda, resulted in the generation of power from surplus wood. Thus, he is not only a successful farmer, but also an agent of change in the existing methods and uses of farm forestry.

As a capitalist farmer, Patel is able to participate in farm forestry with sufficient capital, labour resources and a number of alternatives if any problems arise. He has the resources to use inputs such as fertilisers and irrigation to increase production. With his firm base in fruit cultivation he was able to take the risk of investing in tree planting activities. He had to divert only a part of his land to tree crops with little effect on the production of other cash crops and could therefore afford to wait for four years to get benefits from farm forestry. At harvest too, he is In a strong position to bargain for a good price for his polewood. As an educated and resourceful farmer, he was also in a better position to make use of the incentives provided by the government to encourage farm forestry.

The complex networks of polewood, fuelwood and charcoal producers, distributors, sellers and buyers in urban areas are mostly organized within the informal sector of the wood economy. For a farmer who is already familiar with another informal sector, i.e., that of the fruit economy, it Is not difficult to follow the complex workings of such a market and thereby to anticipate its trends and plan accordingly.

1.3 Involvement of Small Farmers in Farm Forestry

Most small farmers in Bhavnagar practice rainfed arable farming and opt for cropping patterns of a mixed nature. Due to the pressure of population and the need for both grain and cash crops, they follow more intensive cultivation patterns even in low-rainfall areas. They generally practice intensive land use for agricultural crops. If small farmers cultivating only agricultural crops decide to adopt farm forestry, they plant forest trees on the peripheries of their farm, while those cultivating cash crops may opt for block planting on a portion of their farm. Both these alternatives were in use in December 1986 in the villages of Jaspara and Anida of Palitana Taluka.

Jaspara and Anida - Two Villages in Bhavnagar District

Jaspara village in Palitana Taluka2:

    - small (133 families)

    - area: 2,524 acres, of which 2,309 is under cultivation, 81 acres are grazing lands, 134 acres are not cultivated; 450 acres are irrigable by canal, well, and tap water

    - Food crops: bajri (Penniietum typhoides), jowar (millet), and wheat (Treticum aestivum)3 . Where irrigated: groundnuts, cotton, fruit trees (sapota, lime, ber, guava)

Anida village in Palitana Taluka:

    - more irrigated land available

    - cash crops (fruits, groundnuts) more common - horticulture and dairy farming

    - intensive farming without chemical fertilizers

Health conditions in both villages:

    - most houses have hand pumps for water

    - only large farmers have lavatories

    - no primary health centre

    - most farmers said households had, sufficient food

    - no obvious signs of malnutrition among children

    - mortality rate among children almost zero; also low among women at childbirth

    - children under 5 years suffer most from malaria, diptheria, and cholera

    - infants breast-fed until 1 1/2; given solid food at 6 months (rice and pulses with milk); after 12 months, given unleavened wheat bread with milk

    - low mortality rates attributed to availability of milk and other dairy products (buttermilk is supplied free to agricultural labourers)

1.3.1 Introduction of farm forestry among the villagers

A local non-governmental organization, Lokbharati (an educational institution for rural studies), was approached by, the Forest Department to cooperate in a scheme for introducing farm forestry among the villagers. Lokbharati was already involved in extension work among 250 farmers from 10 villages of the area, teaching them techniques of intensive farming with the· use of organic manure and no

chemical fertilisers. With its good network of contacts in rural areas, Lokbharati agreed to speak to farmers about cultivating forest trees. Lokbharati representatives accompanied the foresters and explained to the farmers about the usefulness of farm forestry. During an interview on 18 December 1986 one of them said:

"We at Lokbharati were also quite convinced of the advantages of growing trees and consequently planted about 10 000 Eucalyptus, saru and subavul on our campus. But now we realise that while asking the farmers to grow trees we had not clearly thought about how they would actually derive benefits from them. We assumed that the foresters had taken care of those aspects."

1.3.2 Farmers' perception of why they planted trees

Most farmers practicing farm forestry in Jaspara village agreed with what Majorbhai, owner of 4 acres of irrigated land, had to say:

"We were approached by the officials of the Forest Department, who came with the workers of Lokbharati. In the past, we were assisted by the Lokbharati bhai (brothers) in increasing the yields of our wheat and groundnut crops by 25 per cent. Now, when they advised us to follow the suggestions of the forester 'saheb' we considered that as 'progressive farmers' we should try the new crop. In any case, to grow cotton was no longer profitable and according to both the Lokbharati bhai and the foresters, trees promised to be a high-profit crop. Thus, along with 14 of us who opted for block planting of Eucalyptus in small sections of our fields, another 60 farmers agreed to plant them on the boundaries. During 1982-3 about 200 acres of land in Jaspara were planted with 230 000 saplings...We were told by the forest official that even with a poor survival, say 50 per cent in the event of drought, in four years we could earn about Rs. 100,000 per 10,000 trees.

Having invested heavily in planting and maintaining the trees, we waited patiently for four years. Now it is the end of 1986 and we have not been able to sell the trees. There are no buyers... The Lokbharati workers are hiding from us and the Forest Department official who used to visit us has been transferred to another place, so we have nobody to turn to. We see this

business of farm forestry as a disaster for our people."

1.3.3 Cost-benefit analysis, provided by farm families

Case 1 - Murjibhai provided the following figures of costs per acre for the entire period of four years (1982-6) for Eucalyptus cultivation on his farm.

Material and other inputs

Transportation of seedlings from Sihor nursery at Rs. 150 per trip

Seedlings, obtained free of cost from the Forest Department nursery at Sihor

Five bags of urea at Rs. 250 per bag

Two bags of Gramaxine at Rs. 110 per bag

Irrigation in the first two years

Labour during planting and harvesting

Interest on bank loan at 12.5 per cent

Total cost of planting, maintaining and harvesting of Eucalyptus trees on one acre of land for four years

Rs. 450








Cost-benefit ratio - The survival rate of Eucalyptus on Murjibhai's farm was about 60 per cent: out of 7 000 saplings planted, he was able to harvest 4 000 trees. Because of a shortage of water in the three-year drought period (1983-6), despite irrigation facilities on his farm none of Murjibhai's trees reached the height of 3 meters; their average girth came to just 30 cm. As the quality of polewood was quite poor, the trader offered either to buy each piece of polewood at Rs. 5 or to purchase the entire biomass of each tree at the rate of Rs. 6 for 20 kg. Because each tree gave only about 12 kilograms of wood, it would provide the farmer with only Rs. 3.60. He therefore decided to accept the former offer so that he could keep the tops and lops for domestic use and still get another Rs. 1.40 per tree. He sold the polewood for a total of Rs. 20 000. After taking out the cost (Rs. 6 670) from his gross earning, his cash benefit came to Rs. 13 330 per acre or Rs. 3 332 per year.

Mujibhai was disappointed by his cost-benefit ratio of 1:2. He said that in the markets of Bhavnagar and Rajkot, Eucalyptus timber sold at Rs. 2.25 per foot; however, his own polewood did not sell at even one rupee a foot. He said that he could not understand how the wood market operated.

Case 2 - Makorbhai had planted 10 000 saplings of Eucalyptus on two acres of his four acre plot of irrigated land. About 7 000 trees survived and he too was forced to sell them at the price of fuelwood (Rs. 6 for 20 kg). This experience has left him shattered and he has already pulled out each tree and planted this land with citrus fruit trees. With the help of Lokbharati workers, Mr. Makorbhai produced one tonne of wheat on each acre of his land. In 1986, he produced 700 kg of groundnuts on one acre and accrued an income of Rs. 3 500. His costs in producting groundnuts were:


Rs. 800





Labour of bullocks and two hands



Rs. 1 500

He made a profit of Rs. 2 000 on the cultivation of groundnut. However, after waiting for four years and foregoing the opportunity of planting any other crop on his plot. Mr. Makorbhal earned a profit of a little less than Rs. 2 000 from Eucalyptus on one acre in one year.

He considered this as a dead loss since he could not use this land for a more remunerative crop. The family expected to earn at least Rs. 4 000 per acre by cultivating citrus fruits which required less water. The material inputs in this case come to Rs . 1 000 per acre, and as no extra labour is required, the cost-benefit ratio comes to 1:3. This was considered to be far better than that which was achieved with farm forestry.

Case 3 - Ranchhorbhai wanted to know if there were any people Interested in buying polewood. He planted three acres with Eucalyptus, of which 4 000 trees had been sold while another 7 000 trees were still standing. He did not mind considering the cultivation of subavul on the outskirts of his farm but he had decided to reclaim the three acres under Eucalyptus by selling the trees and replacing them with groundnut. He found that Eucalyptus destroyed the growth of other plants in its vicinity. Secondly, during drought conditions and with his inability to provide enough water, after showing early growth In height the trees did not develop to maturity. He blamed the foresters for advising him to plant this species of forest tree.

Then, he approached the problem of marketing polewood by comparing it with groundnut marketing. He belonged to a cooperative society affiliated to Gujarat Oilseeds Growers' Federation (GROFED). This coop was established so that each member was assured a minimum selling price of Rs. 5 per kilogram of groundnut. Mrs. Ranchhorbhai suggested that if the Forest Department was keen that villagers should grow trees then it should also fix a minimum selling price for the wood-growers.

When it was pointed out that no one in the village had actually suffered losses in cultivating Eucalyptus and that, in addition to some profits, there were increased supplies of fuelwood, most women argued that all other crops (foodgrains, fruits, pulses and nuts) provided some amount of fuelwood and fodder, and in addition, allowed farming families to consume a part of each. Eucalyptus trees, on the other hand, were useless as food, and provided fuelweod only after four years. For marginal and small farmers nearly 10 per cent of the groundnut, 84 per cent of the bajra and 100 per cent of the jowar annually grown on the farm are consumed domestically. The women of these families insisted that there was no shortage of fuelwood in their area due to the plentiful natural and planted Prosopis juliflora. They could thus easily collect fuelwood; on the other hand, they were not used to purchasing various food items if they did not grow them. In making an explicit choice for food and fruit crops they argued that "food is after all more important than fuelwood and other cash crops are grown for their cash income". In their view, forest trees have not given them sufficient cash Income and their non-cash benefits are not significant in light of cost-free availability of fuelwood in this area.

1.3.4 Women's participation In farm forestry

The women of the farming families undertake all weeding and transplanting tasks while the pits for planting the saplings are dug by the male farmers along with hired male labour. The application of chemical fertilisers and insecticide is also done by men only. Harvesting Is again an operation exclusively carried out by hired male labour. All negotiations for selling the polewood are settled by the men. On the other hand, the transportation of wood for domestic use from the fields to the house is the task of the women in which they are assisted by the children of the family.

As women are the actual users of fuelwood, one would expect them to be concerned with the fact that farm forestry provides an Increased supply of fuelwood, and saves them having to walk miles and carrying headloads of wood. Rather, like the men, they were much more concerned with the poor sales of polewood and had reached the conclusion that farm forestry was of no use to them. One woman clearly worked out the whole set of calculations as to how in growing either groundnut or cotton a farming family can expect an annual income of Rs. 2 500 to 3 500 per acre while Eucalyptus cultivation provides nearly the same amount after waiting for four years. She said:

"It is not worth it because one has to forego a regular income and in any case, the income is not even a quarter of what the forest official told us. He led us to believe that we would earn at least Rs. 10 per tree. It is true that because of recurring drought conditions the Eucalyptus trees did not grow well but the same applied to all other crops. The trouble with Eucalyptus Is that one has to wait for four years before cutting it. Thus, the women and children have to keep collecting firewood and fodder for the first three years.

Planting Eucalyptus has not proved particularly beneficial to us in Jaspara while some trees around the house, like this neem in my house, can bring more benefits in short and long terms. We can use its shade, its leaves, twigs, branches and even its bitter fruits. As it takes 10 to 15 years for a neem tree to fully grow, it can not be planted on the farm. I think on our type of land, crops like bajra, jowar, groundnut, sapota, lime and guava are the right kind of things to grow. Anyway, we tried to follow the suggestions of those foresters and improve our profits but we failed. Now we have to go back to our old pattern of land use."

1.3.5 Main problems faced by small farmers in farm forestry

(i) Suitability of Eucalyptus as a crop

The farmers of Jaspara were against further plantation of Eucalyptus which, according to them, competed for water and other nutrients with crops In its vicinity and deprived them of healthy growth.

(ii) Profit calculus

Makorbhai made it clear that as a major portion of his plot has to be allotted to subsistence crops with only about a quarter of the land in cash crops, he has to compare the income from various alternative crops and opt for the one with largest benefits. He did not think that eucalyptus compared favourable with other crops such as groundnut, lime, and cotton.

(iii) Inability of small farmers to take risk

According to Jivarajbhai, a small farmer cannot take the risk of growing a tree crop which produces an income in 4 to 5 years. Most farmers with small plots (less than 2 ha) felt that they lacked sufficient capital and labour to invest in farm forestry on a competitive scale and that for them the income from it will always remain marginal.

(iv) Informal wood market unfavourable for small farmers

A majority of Jaspara farmers (who had adopted farm forestry in 1982-3) have now decided against block planting and some of them have turned against farm forestry itself, mainly because they found that the mechanisms of the informal wood market were not favourable to small unorganized farmers. They agreed that even ín the market for groundnut large farmers earned more than small farmers but that through the use of cooperative societies, even small farmers were assured of a minimum selling price for their crops. They felt unless there were similar cooperative societies for group selling of wood with minimum prices or at least strong bargaining and advocacy power the wood market would always be inaccessable to them.

(v) Problem of the middleman

The farmers had no clear idea of the market forces in the wood economy. A city trader could easily talk them into selling their produce at a nominal price. A local daily 'Phool Dhab', circulated widely in rural areas, gives the ruling prices for groundnut in the Rajkot market; farmers use this information for settling their price with the traders. There was absolutely no market information about polewood available to them.

(vi) Lack of the realistic assessment of cash benefits

Both in Anida and Jaspara, the farmers felt that the foresters and Lok bharati workers had duped them by giving them too rosy a picture of the benefits from farm forestry. Their disappointment should be seen in light of their high expectations.

(vii) Cyclone-generated wood and its effect on the price of fuel wood

Some farmers pointed out that the 1983 cyclone in the region had uprooted many trees and the local landless agricultural families were earning a living from the collection and sale of this wood. Thus, the local market was still saturated, compelling some farmers to sell their timber at a low price.

(viii) Dependence on the rains

The Anida farmers have decided to wait another year before harvesting trees because if 1987 brings some rain, the trees may grow a little better and be sold as polewood for more than Rs. 5 (the current selling price in Jaspara). They further calculate that by 1987 the cyclone-wood will be exhausted, therefore making it easy to sell the tops and lops as fuelwood.

1.3.6 Problems in marketing of polewood also faced by other farmers

The analysis of the situation of farmers in Jaspara and Anida is corroborated by the experiences of small farmers in Mehsana and Surendranagar districts. In December, 1986, Sri Gora P. Karnik, a representative of the tree growers in Mehasana district, met the organizers of a non-governmental organization known as Viksat. He had come to Ahmedabad to ask the NGO to find a market for their timber because the farmers in Mehasana district were unable to sell their polewood locally. At the same time, the Viksat organizers were also approached by Sri Khetshibhai Khusaldas, the President of the District Panchayat, Surendranagar, for the same purpose.

Viksat, an evaluation and monitoring institution, could not provide them with any help. But it did contact the Forest Department in Ahmedabad for assistance, with no success.

It was clear that the farmers were now trying to make a better entry into the wood market and looking for buyers to pay them a high price. Only very needy farmers were going in for distress-selling. These were the people who were going to Ahmedabad and contacting more resouceful persons and organizations.

1.3.7 Need for an organized market

Even if one were to argue that saturation of the market may lead the large farmers away from tree crops and thereby make the competition less intense for small farmers, the question posed by Jaspara farmers remains unanswered: Why should I be made to pay Rs. 20 to 25 for a 3 meter pole if I can not sell mine even for Rs. 10? Obviously, at present the middle man between the producer and consumer is making a large profit. Both market regulation and the flow of market information need the urgent attention of planners and policy-makers, if the interest of the average farmer in farm forestry is to be maintained. The potential of organizing cooperatives for smaller farmers is also an important point for consideration.

1.3.8 Fuelwood from farm forestry for domestic use

Family members in all Jaspara farming families with forest trees reported an increased supply of fuelwood for domestic use, though this was relegated to a topic of minor significance. As fuelwood in rural areas is still collected from nearby forest areas without any cost to the farmer, its increased supply from farm forestry did not enter calculations of cash benefits. As Murjibhai said:

"A farmer needs cash for consulting a doctor, buying medicines, sending the children to school and holding life cycle rituals on occasions of birth, marriage and death. He would like to have enough cash income from growing trees to enable him to meet some of these needs. In this scheme, the supply of fuelwood and fodder has almost no place. The women and children of the family collect and carry all that is available after harvesting food crops and our remaining needs are fulfilled by collection from the nearby wasteland area."

Perhaps the increased supply of fuelwood through farm forestry would have its impact felt only in the long term and in an indirect manner. In both Anida and Jaspara, the members of farming households were not even aware of the existence of fuelsaving cooking stoves and neither village had improved crematoria.

1.3.9 Labour management

On small farms in Anida and Jaspara, all crops, including forest trees, are grown by the farm family; men, women and children work on the farm. Sometimes during the planting and harvesting seasons extra labour may be hired. In the case of Eucalyptus plantations, "owing to inexperience and lack of training", the farmers felt the need to hire extra labour to dig pits and later to cut trees.

On Jivarajbhai's farm, 9 persons were hired for 7 days to dig pits and later, at harvest time, 5 men were engaged to cut trees. In 1982 each person was paid Rs. 10 per day while in 1986 Rs. 12 per day. The hired labour was only paid daily wages and was strictly prohibited from taking away any agro-waste and tops and lops of the trees because these were used exclusively by the farmer's family for their own use or for sale. The fact that the tops and lops were thus treated does indicate, however, that they did have some potential monetary value.


1 These cooperatives are better known among the villagers by their local names. Started in 1957, one such cooperative Is called RaJkot Lodhika Sangh. It has about 100 member cooperative societies and 5000 Individual members. GROFED is another cooperative which began In 1979 by organizing 1000 village-level cooperative societies of groundnut growers in the region.


2 The villagers in Jaspara said that the village is located in Palitana Taluka whereas a subsequent check of the census records revealed only one village by this name in Bhavnagar District, included In Talaja Taluka. Another check with the local persons again shows that notwithstanding the census records, Jaspara village is in Palitana Taluka.


3 Tushar Shah and Srikant Kodak (1984) show that 50 per cent of cultivation In the region la devoted to commercial agriculture. Even bajra, which Is primarily a subsistence crop, Is now found In the market; only the produce of jovar Is fully retained for family consumption while all other crops are marketed.

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