Forest of Bankura.
Forestry At a Glance

Forestry is one of the wealth of this district. The development of the district depends much on it. Bankura,  once known as "Jungle Mahal" for it's long stretched forest losing forest area day by day as a result of indiscriminate misuse. Still the matter of pride is that Bankura is much more enriched with the wealth of forest than other districts of West Bengal scoring first in plantation of trees and second in its custody.

Geographical Area

6682 Sq. Km.


Forest Area

1450 Sq. Km.


Tree Covered Area

1824 Sq. Km.



The climate of Bankura is quite friendly for the production of lac. Per year about 200 metric ton of lac is produced by  17000 people engaged in the trade, where most of them are tribal. Woods are used as fuel by 60% of the people of the district. Kend leaf  is another product of the forest used in tobacco industry. Vast quantity of honey is also collected from forest every year.

Areas like Khatra, Ranibandh, Vishnupur, Sonamukhi, Borjora and Gangajalghati are covered with dense forest with lots of rare plants and animals.Attempts are being made by the forest department and NGOs  like arranging awareness motivation camps, plantation programs etc. to protect and expand this natural resource and to maintain the ecological balance.

In Bankura, sizeable part of the land both in forest areas and non-forest areas remain vacant. Since land under Forest Department is approximately 21.5 percent, any poverty reduction effort will remain incomplete unless this area is addressed. Approximately 48 percent of the forest is of degraded type. Moreover the plant cover in non-forest area is depleting gradually. This in turn builds up biotic pressure on the existing forest area. Also forest is an important source of livelihood for the poor people in rural areas. It provides not only employment and income but is also an important source of fuel and fodder for those people.

Forest land of 148177 ha. constitute 21.5%  of total geographical area of the district, which is below national average of 33% forest coverage. Latest land use patterns indicate that culturable wasteland stood at 11703 ha. fallow land, other than current fallow at 11101 ha., Current fallow at 16480 ha. and 36692 ha. of Barren and uncultivable land. This land may be made suitable for taking up forestry/ waste land development.

From the geographical , socioeconomic & environmental consideration, the district offers lot of scope for development of this activity . In view of Govt. supports for development of this sector, long term potential for development through credit may be estimated at 2500 hect. for next 5 years with annual phasing of 500 ha.


The district is covered under the programmes of National Waste Land Development Board. IWDP is being implementation in 7 blocks viz. Indpur, Chhatna, Saltora, Khatra, Hirbundh, G.Ghati and Ranibandh.

State Govt. has implemented social forestry project in the district covering roadside, riverside, railway embankment plantation etc. West Bengal forest development corporation, pulpwood development corporation are also working  for forest and wasteland development in the district during the past years. Govt. has stressed for biotic plantation distribution of seeding etc. in the district.

Forest of the district is divided into three divisions. On an average of 20% of forests are barren of degraded . Under State and Central sponsored programmes, rejuvenation and or re-plantation are taken to an average of 1500-1600 ha. per year. In coming five years 2000 ha. is also expected to be developed with non-timber forest. However bank credit may flow to the privately owned land only and no private land is categorized as forest land. Development of the activity only on culturable Waste Land and Fallow Land is therefore may be feasible through bank credit and long term potentials may be worked out as below :-

Year U (U=Union in ha) F  (F= Rs. in Lakhs)
2002-03 8000 1920.00
2003-04 8800 2112.00
2004-05 9680 2323.20
2005-06 10645 2554.80
2006-07 12400 2976.00

Lac and Tassar host tree plantation in forest areas in blocks of Chhatna, Saltora, Mejhia, Indpur, G. Ghati, Khatra, Ranibandh and Hirbandh will also benefit tribal people with increase in gainful employment and generation of employment downstream.

Plantation / Horticulture

The agro climatic condition of the district is suitable for plantation / horticulture crops such as Mango, Guava, Cashewnut, Jackfruit, Banana, Papaya, Lime and others. Cultivation of most fruit crops are taken up as backyard plantation rather than commercial venture. There is also scope for development of floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants in the district. Total area under horticulture crops in the district is around 4775 ha.

The integrated wasteland development programmes is under implementation in the district with effect from 1993-94 to utilize wasteland and generate employment opportunities in rural area. It is a Govt. assisted programme, which aims at undertaking plantation activities of tasser host plantation (Arjun), horticultural development , energy plantation (non edible oil), medicinal and Silivipasture etc. in the district. Execution of plantation activities etc. done through Panchayat bodies. A commercial activity is need of the hour. Due importance is being attached by the SG. An agreement has been reached with a Israeli partner to develop planting materials of suitable species of PH corps. Arrangements are also being made to produce high quality planning materials in another farm at Joyrambati.

Long Term Potential

The S.F./M.F and other farmers population in the district is 576534 who can take up the activity as backyard plantation and plantation in wasteland. The land use pattern of the district is as below :-

Net Sown area 409693 ha. 404918 ha.
Tree Crops 4775 ha.
Culturable waste 11703 ha.  
Current fallow 16480
Other fallow 6140 ha. 34323 ha.
439241 ha.

Assuming 5% of net sown are and 10% cultivable waste land may be available for P&H crops, an area of 21654 ha. may be considered as long term potential.

Long term exploitable potential in respect of year wise break up of plantation & horticultue activities terms of coverage in hectares (ha.) is given as follows :-

Year Betel vine Mango / Guava Citrus Bers Papaya / Pomegranate Cashewnut Nut
2002-03 58 80 190 115 180 50 673
2003-04 60 80 190 115 180 50 675
2004-05 60 80 190 115 180 50 675
2005-06 60 80 190 115 180 50 675
2006-07 60 80 190 115 180 50 675