IN THE early '80s, a tall, straggly alien invaded farmlands across North India. The landscape changed drastically as spindly eucalyptus shot out of what had originally been good agricultural land,

Though scientists have developed a way to saw eucalyptus wood without cracking or twisting it, furniture makers aren't convinced of its utility.

DOES eucalyptus harm soil? Environmentalists who say it does may be barking up the wrong tree, says a recent study. A K Srivastav of the Silviculture and Forest Utilisation Division in Rajpipla,

Farm forestry was promoted in India in the late 1970s to produce fuelwood for rural consumption. The program was immensly successful in the green revolution region in the early 1980s, but farmers produced wood for markets, and not to meet local needs. This market orientation of farmers was recognized in the new National Forest Policy of 1988. Lately, two serious problems have been noted. First, the program remained confined only to the commercialized and monetized regions, and elsewhere made little impact.

tribal villagers in West Bengal's West Midnapore district chopped down around 6,600 young eucalyptus trees on a six-hectare state forest department plantation recently. The residents claim the

ITC s CDM project