TN to set up exclusive furniture units using invasive plant species

The tribal department also said that with the opening of the two new manufacturing units, the initiative will be taken for opening retail outlets so that the product is sold out.
File photo
File photo

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu tribal department will be opening two furniture manufacturing units exclusively for the tribals, who are trained for making furniture using invasive plant species, Lantana Camara.

The furniture units will be coming up in Erode and The Nilgiris. A senior official with the tribal department while speaking to IANS said, "Many tribal communities are involved and engaged in removing Lantana Camara species from the forests. We found that the furniture made of Lantana Camara is much cheaper than that made from other materials like Bamboo."

The official said that approximately 60 tribal people were trained under the auspices of the World WildLife Fund for Nature and Tamil Nadu Vazhndu Kattuvom Project leading to the empowerment of many from the tribal community who are earning well.

Maruthan R., a tribal community elder who is involved in the manufacturing and selling of furniture made of Lantana Camara told IANS that his group had earned more than Rs 1,50,000 through this.

He said that his community was involved in removing the invasive species and used to sell them as firewood but with the new initiative, the invasive species could be removed as well as the value addition would help to earn well.

The tribal department also said that with the opening of the two new manufacturing units, the initiative will be taken for opening retail outlets so that the product is sold out.

According to the tribal department official, the furniture made by Lantana Camara is cheaper and they make three-seat sofa sets and two-seat sofa sets, and tables and chairs.

Social activist M. Giripandyan, who is from the Irualar community while speaking to IANS said, "The initiative of the tribal department is highly laudable as the tribes are empowered and have given them self confidence and if this is spread across the state, the tribes will come out of several years of exploitation and poverty."

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