Forest Products covers both major and minor forest produce obtained from the forest. Major Forest Produce- comprising timber and firewood and Minor Forest Produce includes all other produce of the forest including medicinal and aromatic plants. Forest utilization mainly deals with the methods of collecting, converting, and disposing of forest produce. Medicinal and Aromatic have emerged as potential resources not only from the point of view of economic contribution to the society, but also call our attention for their conservation and sustainable use. These resources are now being considered globally almost at par with the importance of major forest based products like timber etc. and become the sources of considerable revenue to the state. The exploitation, collection and marketing of these resources need to be organized on scientific lines which lead to increase the forest revenue. Further, documentation, assessment, evaluation and utilization of such forest products formed the basis for their sustainable use. Hence, the department of Forest products and Utilization was created on 18.12.2018 to cater the needs of research and human resources development in Sub-mountain low hills and mid-hills zone of Himachal Pradesh. Since the issues involved are multidisciplinary, an integrated approach encompassing forestry, botany, chemistry, agronomy, breeding, wood science etc. is being followed. The department is carrying out teaching, research and extension activities and ready to undertake various research projects/schemes of national and international importance.
Extension activities including different campus (on and off) training programmes covering various aspects of production, processing and marketing of important medicinal and aromatic plants are also being organized for various stakeholders such as farmers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, Mahila & Yuvak Mandals, Youth clubs, Subject Matter Specialists (Agriculture/Horticulture, Forests, Ayurveda etc.) and field functionaries of the line departments of the state. Genuine and quality planting material of medicinal and aromatic plant is regularly supplied to growers, industry etc. Documentation of herbal wealth and its traditional usage is other useful activity that is being emphasized.