International Workshop on Production and Marketing of Teakwood: Future Scenarios, 23-25 November 2009 KFRI, Peechi, Kerala, India



Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) is a versatile timber known for its quality, durability and strength. It is used largely for furniture and construction of buildings, ship and boat making, for veneer and as poles. Teak is an undisputed leader of high value tropical timbers. It is always referred to as standard  timber  for  comparative  evaluation  of  quality and utilisation potential  of  other tropical

hardwoods. Teak is being grown in plantations in more than 36 tropical countries across the globe although its natural occurrence is limited to India, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Of the estimated 205.1 million ha of global productive planted forests in 2005, about 5.82 million ha (3%) were teak, representing a major portion of the world’s high-quality tropical hardwood plantations. The trend in the establishment of planted forests for productive function has increased from 1.7% per annum in 1990-2000 to 1.9% per annum in 2000-2005. With such a heightened level of interest in teak, there has been a concern across both teak producer and consumer countries about the future of the global teak sector, like whether the production is consonant with the demand, what marketing opportunities exist for teak timber, is it possible to bring the price to affordable levels, how best a teak plantation can be managed and so on. The present workshop was planned to address some of these questions.


Theme of the workshop


The theme of the workshop was ‘Production and Marketing of Teakwood: Future Scenarios’. The idea was to focus on the future, considering the changes in demand, supply and more importantly the state of technology. This workshop was also important to strategize the future activities of TEAKNET taking into consideration the emerging opportunities and challenges and how the network may facilitate coordinated efforts by network members.


Objectives of the workshop


The main objective was to make the various stakeholders aware of the current situation with respect to teak production and marketing at a global level, and to build on the opportunities available from these developments.


Organizers and sponsors


The workshop was organised by TEAKNET in collaboration with the Kerala Forest Research Institute. TEAKNET is an international network of institutions and individuals interested in teak. TEAKNET addresses the interests of all categories of stakeholders who are growers, traders, researchers or other groups with a profound interest or concern with teak. TEAKNET was established in 1995 and its headquarters was recently shifted from Myanmar to India. Financial support for the workshop was provided by FAO of the United Nations and Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI).




The workshop was attended by 66 participants from different countries including India. Several eminent scientists and experts in various fields of tropical timber development programmes were invited from around the world to present keynote and plenary papers in addition to the country reports from the representatives of the major teak growing countries. The participants represented a cross section of the major sets of stakeholders like growers, traders, researchers and policy makers.


Inaugural function


The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Binoy Viswam, Hon’ble Minister for Forest and Housing, Government of Kerala, in the morning of 23 November 2009, at the Peechi Campus of KFRI. Mr. Rajaji Mathew Thomas, MLA, Kerala Legislative Assembly presided over the function. Dr. E. P. Yesodharan, Executive Vice-President, Kerala State Council for Science Technology & Environment welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. Mr. T. M. Manoharan, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force, Kerala Forest Department delivered a special address and also launched the ‘Tree Health Helpline’ by giving a copy of the relevant brochure to the Hon’ble Minister.


Dr. K. Jayaraman, TEAKNET Coordinator, explained the objectives of the workshop. Dr. S. Appanah National Forest Programme Adviser, FAO, Bangkok, spoke on the occasion indicating the role of FAO in promoting forestry and in particular, teak in the region. Mrs. Lilly Francis, President, Pananchery Grama Panchayath, offered felicitations to the workshop. Dr. K. V. Sankaran, Director, KFRI, proposed vote of thanks.


Technical Sessions


Before the commencement of the plenary session, a special remembrance was made of late           Dr. K. M. Bhat, the former TEAKNET Coordinator. Dr. K. Jayaraman briefed about the contributions made by Dr. Bhat to forest science for the information of the participants and the audience engaged in silent prayer for half a minute.


The technical sessions that followed centered, in general, on the following topics,


·     Supply of and demand for teakwood

·     Market intelligence on teak price

·     Grading of teakwood

·     Timber certification

·     Production technology

·     Future perspectives for TEAKNET


At the start of each session, the chairperson, co-chairperson and the rapporteurs for the session were introduced. The chairpersons briefly indicated the overall expectations from each session before calling on the speakers.

The session details are given in the following.


Monday, 23 November 2009     



Venue: Auditorium, KFRI



Mr. Lars Graudal
Head of Division, Forest Genetic Resources & the Hoersholm Arboretum,
Forest & Landscape, Denmark



Dr. Ahmad Zuhaidi Yahya

Head of Forest Plantation Programme, 

Forest Research Institute Malaysia






Dr. P.K. Muraleedharan

Programme Coordinator,

Division of Forestry & Human Dimension,

Kerala Forest Research Institute




Dr. C.N. Krishnankutty


Division of Forest Management Information System,

Kerala Forest Research Institute  


Keynote Address :  Forests: Board Feet, Beliefs and Backups 

Dr. S. Appanah, National Forest Pogramme Adviser, FAO Regional Offce for Asia and the Paciific, Bangkok


Transforming the Teak Sector

Mr. Raymond Keogh, International Coordinator, TEAK 21, Ireland


Teak Plantations in the World and their Productivity

Dr. Devendra Pandey, Former Director General of Forest Survey of India, India






Venue: I Floor- Silver Jubilee Hall, KFRI

 (Coordinator: Dr. E. M. Muralidharan, Scientist, Kerala Forest Research Institute)


Foliage Nutrient Variation in Flowering and Non-flowering Clones of Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. F)

Dr. M. Balagopalan, Mr. C.M. Jijeesh and Dr. K.K. Seethalakshmi

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India


Intensity of Teak Stem Borer (Alcterogystia cadambae ) Infestation in Different Teak Plantations of Haliyal Forest Division of Karnataka.

Mr. Harsha T. Hegde, Mr. Ramesh S. Rathod, Mr. Nagaraj Hegde and Mr. K. V. Devar, College of Forestry, Sirsi, Karnataka, India


Effect of Coir Geo-textiles on the Growth of Teak: An experience in a Highly Degraded Area for Improving the Soil and the Productivity

Dr. M. Balagopalan and Dr. P. Rugmini,

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India


Management of Soils of Teak Plantations for Sustainable Productivity

Dr. M. Balagopalan and  Dr. P. Rugmini

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India


Provenance Variation in Seed and Seedling Attributes of Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. F)

Dr. P. Masilamani, Mr. C. Dharmalingam and Mr. K. Annadurai

Agricultural Engineering College & Research Institute, Kumulur,Tamil Nadu, India 


Scope of Organic Farming in Teak Plantations of Kerala

Dr. M. P. Sujatha and Ms.  K. Smitha John

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India 


Production and Marketing of Teakwood: Case study in Central Java, Indonesia

Dr. Diana Puspitasari, Dr. Yeni Ernaningsih and Dr. Corryanti

Forestry State Enterprise (Perum Perhutani), Indonesia





Venue: Tectona Hall, KFRI


Mr. Raymond Keogh

International Coordinator,

TEAK 21,  Ireland



Dr. Jose Kallarackal

Emeritus Scientist,

Kerala Forest Research Institute







Dr.  V. Anitha


Division of Forestry & Human Dimension,

Kerala Forest Research Institute


Dr. P.K. Thulasidas


Division of Wood Science and Technology,

Kerala Forest Research Institute





Teak Forest Certification Scenario: An Overview

Dr. Manmohan Yadav and Dr. D. Dugaya

Centre for Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification

Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India



Prospects and Problems of Teak (Tectona grandis) Plantations in Bangladesh

Dr. Mohammed Kamal Hossain

Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Chittagong University, Bangladesh


Teak (Tectona grandis) Plantations as the Alternative Source of Future Quality Round Log Production in Peninsular Malaysia

Dr. Ahmad Zuhaidi Yahya and Mr. Hashim M. Noor

Forest Research Institute, Malaysia




Tuesday, 24 November 2009




Venue: Tectona Hall, KFRI



Dr. Daniel B Krishnappillay

Former Director,

Forest Plantation and Medicinal

Plants Division, FRIM,

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Dr. Corryanti Sutadji-Sambodo


Forestry State Enterprise (Perum Perhutani),






Dr  E.P. Indira

Head, Department of Genetics and Tree Breeding,

 Kerala Forest Research Institute 



Dr. George Mathew

Programme Coordinator,

Division of Forest Health,

Kerala Forest Research Institute



International Exchange of Reproductive Material of Teak

Mr. Erik Dahl Kjær and Mr. Lars Graudal

Forest Genetic Resources & the Hoersholm Arboretum
Forest & Landscape, Denmark 


Nilambur Teak: A Phenotypically and Genotypically Distinct Provenance

Dr. M. Balasundaran

Programme Coordinator, Forest Genetics and Biotechnology Division

Kerala Forest Research Institute,  Peechi, India


Silviculture of Teak – Current Practices and Future Challenges

Dr. R. C. Pandalai

Head, Department of Silviculture, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, India


Outbreak of Pink Disease Poses Major Threat to Young Teak Plantations in Kerala, India

Dr. C. Mohanan

Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Kerala Forest Research Institute,  Peechi, India


Influence of Seed Biochemical Constituents on Seedling Performance in Teak

Mr. C.M. Jijeesh, Consultant, BTSG, Kerala Forest Research Institute

Dr. K. Sudhakara, Professor, College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India




Venue: Tectona Hall, KFRI



Dr. Mohammed Kamal Hossain


Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences,

Chittagong University,




Dr. R.V. Varma

Former Member Secretary

Kerala State Bio-diversity Board,


 Kerala, India





Dr. Mammen Chundamannil


Department of Economics,

Kerala Forest Research Institute




Dr. M. Sivaram

Scientist, Division of Forest Management Information System,

Kerala Forest Research Institute


Organizing Markets for Teakwood in India – Role of Electronification and Commodity Futures

Mr. Anand Sheyon

Manager, Business Development,

 Multi Commodity Exchange, Cochin


Issues in International Trading of Teak Wood

Mr. R. T. Somaiya


Timber Importers Association, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India




Venue: Tectona Hall, KFRI



Dr. C.T.S. Nair

Former Chief Economist

FAO Forest Economics & Policy Division, Rome, Italy



Dr. Devendra Pandey

Former Director General

Forest Survey of India

Dehradun, India





Dr R.C. Pandalai

Head, Department of Silviculture,

Kerala Forest Research Institute




Dr. P. Rugmini

Head, Department of Statistics,

Kerala Forest Research Institute



The Future of Teak and the High Grade Tropical Hardwood Sector

(Release of FAO Forestry Paper)

Dr. Walter Kollert

Forestry Officer (Planted Forests), Forest Management Division (FOMR),

FAO, Rome, Italy


Future Perspectives for TEAKNET

Dr. K. Jayaraman

TEAKNET Coordinator,

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India


Feedback from Participants


Workshop Recommendations

Mr. Raymond Keogh

International Coordinator, TEAK 21, Ireland


Concluding Session

Venue: Auditorium, KFRI


The Concluding Session was chaired by Dr. Appanah wherein he made his remarks on the need for continuing the activities of TEAKNET in the interest of its members and thanked all the participants for their active participation.


Dr. K. Jayaraman proposed vote of thanks and the session ended.


Steering Committee Meeting of TEAKNET

Venue: Tectona Hall, KFRI


Wednesday, 25 November 2009



Field trips were organized in two separate teams to Nilambur and Chalakudy.


The details of presentations and the important points that emerged during the discussions in each session are presented in the following.


Keynote Address and Plenary Session


There were three presentations in this session including the keynote address by Dr. S. Appanah. The keynote address was entitled, ‘Forests: Board Feet, Beliefs and Backups’. Dr. Appanah highlighted some of the crucial issues and changes in the forestry sector in recent years. His approach was philosophical and he posed a number of questions like ‘Do we know everything about trees? Does research guide forest management?, among others. He examined some of the innovations in the forestry and how they helped people to improve their livelihood.  He also presented cases of the changing world of forestry and new dimensions in the role of forest agencies. The presentation concluded with an optimistic note that every problem created by human beings could be solved by human initiative, positives are negatives in disguise and this seems to be the secret spur of Nature that propels us forward.


The second presentation was on ‘Transforming the teak sector’ by Mr. Raymond Keogh from Ireland. Mr. Keogh drew attention to the prevailing high grade tropical hardwood crisis, which is expected to grow further in the coming years. The demand for tropical hardwood is estimated to be 136 million m3 by 2050. Natural forests and plantations are the major sources of hardwood species. He examined the future availability of hardwood from these sources and also major constraints attached to each source. It was pointed out that the teak sector as a whole was unsustainable to achieve even the modest target of 10 per cent of the hardwood requirement due to various problems like poor genetic base, inadequate site selection, high demand and over-exploitation of plantations. He suggested that teak sector needed a radical transformation comprising technological, financial, social and environmental changes. This could be brought about by three ways such as bringing stakeholders together, providing broad vision of future and by aligning the attitude.


Dr. D. Pandey, former Director General of Forest Survey of India was the third speaker. His paper was on ‘Teak plantations in the world and their productivity’. The presentation began with an admission of the fact there are no reliable figures regarding production of teakwood globally. He however, presented details regarding total planted area and productivity of teak. He presented a yield prediction model for teak, based on climatic variables capable of predicting potential yield from teak plantations in any region. The estimated annual global production of teakwood ranged from 1.5 to 2 million m3 of which India’s contribution constitutes 0.25 million m3. It was pointed out that with the declining supply of tropical hardwood and teakwood in particular from natural forests, the hope to meet the global demand rests with teak plantations.


The important points that emerged out of the discussion were the following.


·     The need for integrated natural resource management in forest fringes.

·     The role of TEAKNET in transforming the teak sector by selecting reachable targets.

·     Works on log grading and pricing of teak can be starting points for future actions.

·     The need for reliable information on area under planted teak and the actual production/yield in different areas/countries.


Invited Lectures and Country Reports


The session dealt with forest certification and its impact on production and marketing of teakwood, problems and prospects of teak cultivation and current status of teak in Bangladesh and Malaysia by way of two country reports.


The lecture titled ‘Teak forest certification scenario: An overview’ was presented by Prof. Manmohan Yadav, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India. He touched upon the global scenario of forest certification and the slow process of certification in Indian conditions. The country report on ‘Prospects and problems of teak Plantations in Bangladesh’ was presented by Prof. M. K. Hossain. Bangladesh has about 1,44,000 ha of teak plantations and the productivity is low coming to less than 2.5 m3 ha-1 yr -1. He enumerated many reasons for this low productivity such as poor growth in locations of low site quality, encroachment and illegal felling. However, there is indication of profitable investment by private and household sector in teak plantations. Dr. Ahamad Zuhaidi Yahya, Malaysia, presented the paper, ‘Teak plantations as the alternative source of future quality round logs production in Malaysia’. The country has about 5,000 ha of teak plantations aged 10-12 years with an average annual production of 8.33 m3 ha-1 yr -1 with a maximum production of 12 m3 ha-1 yr -1 in 13 year old teak plantations. The government is providing soft loans to the prospective entrepreneurs for planting teak in private estates and small holdings. The target is 375,000 ha within the next 15 years with an annual planting of 25,000 ha.


The salient points of the session were:


·     In the context of sustainable forest management practices, teak certification in India offers tremendous scope in the marketing and trading of teakwood as it is a highly priced timber, meeting the growing timber demand the world over and mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration.

·     Teak improvement programmes are inadequate in Bangladesh and the country needs international collaboration. The country is importing timber from 13 countries and teak is coming mainly from Myanmar. Presently in Bangladesh, plantation programmes for teak are getting priority.

·     The use of good clonal planting stock, local participation, good agro-forestry practices, species-site-matching and tending treatments are required for the production of good quality teak logs.


Production Technology


Mr. Lars Graudal from Denmark pointed out that the transfer of germplasm through International provenance trials has benefited all the countries and it led to development of land races. He said although genetic improvement and establishment of clonal seed orchards as well as mass clonal propagation were promoted, untested sources are still used in many planting programmes. He pointed to the need for coordinated multi-location trials including improved seed sources and clones. Dr. M. Balasundaran from KFRI, India who followed, reported the superiority of Nilambur teak in growth, tree form, size and colour of wood. He presented the studies conducted on genetic diversity of teak using DNA markers such as AFLP and microsatellites which revealed the genetic identity of Nilambur teak. Subsequently, Dr. R.C. Pandalai from KFRI, India gave an overview of the time tested silvicultural manipulations possible for sustainable management of teak plantations and indicated some of the future challenges in teak cultivation. Dr. C. Mohanan, KFRI, India reported about the outbreak of pink disease as well as bacterial wilt in young plantations in Kerala which were not present during 1980s. He had found high humidity, day to day changes in weather conditions and high pathogen inocula to be the causative factors for the recent outbreak of the disease. Mr. Jijeesh from Kerala Agricultural University, India spoke about the influence of biochemical constituents on seed germination and seedling growth and reported the significant correlation observed between vigour of seedlings and soluble carbohydrate content of seeds.


The points that emerged out of the session were:

·     There is need for international co-operation on access of knowledge and germplasm including improved seeds and clones for mutual benefits.

·     The genetic identity of Nilambur teak needs to be maintained and the Nilambur teak may be given the geographic indicator status.

·     Poor seed germination, non-availability of superior planting material and site deterioration were identified as problems associated with raising teak.

·     Use of fungicides was suggested to combat the pink disease outbreak as an immediate measure.

·     Improved methods for mass propagation need to be developed.


Market Intelligence on Teak Prices


Mr. Anand Sheyon indicated that in the traditional system of auctioning of timber by State Forest Departments, transparency, information sharing and opportunities for new players are less. In this context, he explained about the various commodity features and derivative products available in the Indian financial system and how electronification of the existing timber spot marketing can be built to link up with the financial markets. During the discussions that followed, Dr. Manmohan Yadav informed of the efforts made by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, for taking up a pilot study on electronification of timber marketing. He further informed that in the case of electronification of marketing of tamarind, the speculators play a vital role and it is not profitable for primary producers.


The next speaker Mr. R.T. Somaiya started with the comment that in the case of teakwood, one has to personally inspect timber lots before buying. He was of the opinion that the forward trading of teakwood is not possible. Subsequently, he explained various measurement and grading systems adopted in different countries. He said that uniform measurement and grading system for teak is not possible. He informed that even a country like USA could not develop unified systems for trading wood. He suggested for a supplier-buyer meet for evolving a unified measurement and grading system. Marketing of teakwood is use-dependent which varies across locations. He also suggested that TEAKNET should advise uniform practice for measurements and allowances to make teak trading simpler for everyone.


The following points were discussed after the presentation.

·     A study on the existing variation in measurement and grading systems of teakwood so as to evolve a unified system.

·     The need for a unified certified system for teakwood.

·     The need for having a good Market Intelligence System (MIS) for timber marketing.


TEAKNET Satellite Meeting


Dr. C.T.S. Nair made a few opening remarks about the importance of the session and invited Dr. Walter Kollert to speak about the FAO Forestry Working Paper on hardwood sector to be released. Dr. Kollert briefly mentioned about the work done by FAO in assessing the global hardwood situation and ways and means by which the present crisis can be resolved. The FAO paper entitled, ‘The future of teak and the high-grade tropical hardwood sector: Solving the tropical hardwood crisis with emphasis on teak’ was then released by giving the first copy to Dr. C.T.S. Nair. Copies of the report were also circulated to the participants.


Later, Dr. K. Jayaraman made an exposition of TEAKNET, its mission and mode of action. He narrated the various activities currently undertaken by TEAKNET and provided a broad outline of future activities possible. He also brought to notice the status of TEAKNET membership and benefits to members by joining TEAKNET.


Dr. C.T.S. Nair then opened up a discussion on the expectations of TEAKNET members from the network by asking for input from each and every participant in the hall. The members gave out a number of suggestions which were all recorded for later considerations. Dr. C.T.S. Nair again exhorted the members to point out just two most important things that can be taken up immediately. It was suggested by many that TEAKNET can act as an information centre on teak and also organize meetings and training programmes for the benefit of the stakeholders.


This was followed by a discussion on the recommendations of the workshop initiated by presentation of a draft set of recommendations by Mr. Raymond Keogh. Mr. Keogh stressed on the need to increase the production of teakwood and also for identifying better marketing strategies. He emphasised on selecting reachable targets and starting to work on them. The draft recommendations were generally agreed upon by the audience.


Concluding Session


Dr. Appanah made an overall assessment of the workshop proceedings and indicated the need for continuing the networking activities. Dr. Jayaraman proposed vote of thanks to everyone who contributed to the successful execution of the workshop.


Workshop Recommendations


The workshop recommended that:


1. TEAKNET determines its role and scope in improving the teak sector so that the sector can:


·          Increase the production of teakwood for meeting the rising demand by expanding teak cultivation in new areas, promoting growing of teak in community homesteads and private plantations;

·          Enhance market for teakwood through improved strategies like the development of market intelligence on teakwood availability and price;


2. TEAKNET selects a limited number of objectives (targets) for early attention, chosen on the basis that the objectives:


·          Have the highest impact for the lowest input;

·          Can be realized within budget;

·          Have the highest probability of being achieved;


3. TEAKNET undertakes a campaign to increase its budget.


In consonance with the above recommendations, TEAKNET has selected the following activities on a priority basis for the year 2010.


·     TEAKNET shall continue with its activities related to information dissemination through its website, capturing information globally with respect to production and marketing of teakwood. TEAKNET shall act more as a facilitator linking all major institutions concerned with teak production, marketing and research. TEAKNET shall produce more printed material so as to increase awareness and visibility of its functioning among the stakeholders.

·     TEAKNET shall expand its membership base by identifying new members and finding patrons and sponsors to support new members wherever required and define clearly the services that it can offer to its members. In particular, it shall strengthen linkage with teak-growing countries in Latin America and Africa and extend membership within these countries with the objective to globalize TEAKNET. In this context TEAKNET shall link up with the “Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza” (CATIE) in Costa Rica to serve as a focal point for Latin America.

·     CATIE shall be contacted by FAO to undertake a research study on the teak sector in Latin America. CATIE’s support will also be sought to host an international TEAKNET conference in 2010. The workshop shall aim to have focussed discussions on unification of log grading rules and on integrating tree improvement efforts in teak at international level.

·     FAO shall logistically support a resource assessment of teak in all major teak-growing countries (area, age classes, rotation periods, MAI, ownership, etc.) with the objective to establish a database on teak which will serve as a base for outlook studies.

·     TEAKNET shall prepare a status paper on teak showing its current position with indications of future scenarios in the global context.

·     FAO shall become a formal member of TEAKNET and help to identify additional members for the Steering Committee. 





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