Assessing the resource potential of Sal seeds in India

A common evergreen seed is capable of providing almost 150,000 person-days of employment during a single collection season in the Kumaun Himalayas region of northern India, according to a recent study in the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities.

The study, by Dr Girish Chandra Pant of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, assessed the present and future resource potential of Sal seeds, existing market mechanisms and their role in livelihood generation for rural communities in India.

The Sal tree, Shorea robusta, is an evergreen species native to India, Myanmar and Nepal. Sal seeds are an important non timber forest product and source of income for about 90,000 forest fringe villages with a combined population of 56 million. The Sal seed is prized mainly for its oil, which has significant potential for export markets due to its low price. During the months of May and June, many rural people in central, eastern and northern India collect the seeds in order to supplement their incomes until the agricultural season begins.

“There is an urgent need to attract villagers to Sal seed collection work, fix the procurement rates at a level that allows at least a minimum wage to be collected by the collectors, assess the sustainable harvesting levels and practices to ensure timely processing of the seeds to preserve their quality, and increase awareness among collectors to avoid the use of unhygienic sacks and pesticides for storing kernels,” states Dr Pant.

Based on his investigation of Sal seed collection activities at three sites in Uttarakhand state in northern India, the author recommends that clear-cut guidelines be set for estimating collection quantities so that planning for collection and marketing can be prepared accordingly. In addition, “the government should review the decision to ban Sal seed collection in Kumaun and allow the use of Sal fat in food items such as chocolates and ice creams,” he concludes.

The current ban on collecting Sal seeds in Kumaun was imposed to improve the regeneration of Sal trees in this region.

For more information about this research, please contact:

Girish Chandra Pant
Van Vigyan Bhawan (ICFRE),
Sector-5, R.K. Puram,
New Delhi 110022, India
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
Tel: +(91)-11-2610 8315; Mobile: +(91) 95 6051 8223


About Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH)

Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. It is published four times a year in March, June, September and December. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS), and Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST).

JSSH aims to develop as a pioneer journal for the social sciences with a focus on emerging issues pertaining to the social and behavioural sciences as well as the humanities. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include Social Sciences—Accounting, anthropology, Archaeology and history, Architecture and habitat, Consumer and family economics, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Law, Management studies, Media and communication studies, Political sciences and public policy, Population studies, Psychology, Sociology, Technology management, Tourism; Humanities—Arts and culture, Dance, Historical and civilisation studies, Language and Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious studies, Sports.

The journal publishes original academic articles dealing with research on issues of worldwide relevance. The journals cater for scientists, professors, researchers, post-docs, scholars and students who wish to promote and communicate advances in the fields of Social Sciences & Humanities research.


The papers are available from the following links:

For more information about the journal, contact:

The Chief Executive Editor (UPM Journals)
Head, Journal Division, UPM Press
Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&I)
IDEA Tower 2, UPM-MDTC Technology Centre
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor

Phone: +(603) 8947 1622 | +(6016) 217 4050
Email: [email protected]

Date of Release: 26 October, 2015.

The Chief Executive Editor, UPM Journals

Published: 26 Oct 2015

Contact details:

Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) 43400 UPM Serdang Selangor Malaysia

+603 8947 1622
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Websites: Link to research paper Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH)


Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH)