KERALA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
Forestry faculty formed
The Governor of kerala and Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has accorded assent to the proposal to establish a full-fledged Faculty of Forestry at Vellanikkara. Forestry will be the third faculty under KAU after Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering. Two other faculties, viz. Veterinary and Fisheries were delinked from KAU in 2010 to form separate Universities. Upgrading Forestry as a faculty is one of the programmes envisaged in KAU budget 2012.
Until now, the College of Forestry was functioning under the Faculty of Agriculture. The decision to form a separate faculty was taken in view of the increasing relevance of forest studies and research and the need for more thrust to the academic and research programmes under its fold. The new status will enable the scientists to meet the challenges of environmental problems and to strengthen efforts for conservation and proper utilisation of forest resources. It is also expected to boost the forestry academic, research and extension activities of the University.
The College of Forestry (CoF) under KAU was established at Vellanikkara in 1986 as part of the nation-wide efforts to start forestry based on the recommendations of the National Commission on Agriculture (1976). CoF is the sole institution in the forestry sector of the state accredited by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE). At present CoF has five departments viz., Silviculture and Agroforestry, Tree Physiology and Breeding, Forest Management and Utilization, Wood Science and Wildlife Science and the courses offered are a four year BSc (hons), a two year masterís and PhD in forestry. The ICFRE accreditation team (2009) rated it as one of the two best forestry colleges in India with A** rating.