The slump in the real estate market in Punjab has caused a dent in the plywood industry with which a large number of poplar tree growing farmers rely on. It is has been around five years since the demand of plywood, which is used for making furniture, has taken a downslide from Rs 1,100 a quintal (two years ago) to Rs 650 a quintal now.
The main reason behind the unpopularity of furniture made of the plywood is the Chinese lamination boards which have got more relevance among buyers in the recent years, giving a blow to the poplar growers in the region.
It is learnt that since that the Chinese lamination board and compressed wood have made inroads into the Indian market, the local plywood has lost its sheen.
Ranbir Singh Sidhu who owns 100 acres of land under poplar cultivation in Birmi, Khaira Bet and Bhundri villages of the district and is the president of the PAU Tree Growers Association, said, "Popular growers who have been hit from the two sides, slump in the real estate for the past few years and the Chinese products which has caused damage to the plywood industry."
"Most of the farmers in Khaira Bet village are dependent upon the poplar tree cultivation and decline in the demand has been a cause of worry for them," he added.
The decline in the real estate started five years ago and since then, it has not been able to gain the upward momentum. Not only this, builders who used to purchase plywood in large quantity are now shying away from laying their hands on any new project which has subsequently hit the poplar industry associated with it.
Sukhwinder Singh, owner of Evershine Trade & Co located at New Janta Nagar, said that different colour varieties with the cheaper rates had made the Chinese lamination boards most popular in the region," said Singh.
RIS Gill of agro forestry department at Punjab Agriculture University said that poplar tree, mostly found in areas along the river belts, was a commercial tree used for manufacturing of the plywood.