The harvesting of the forest resources of the State as per provisions of the Working Plans was primarily being done through private contractors prior to 1962 resulted in unscientific exploitation of forests, illicit felling and removal of unrestricted Forest Produces from the Forest. Evasion and avoidance of payment of royalty and taxes also occurred in many cases. With the objective to replace the contractor system of forest working for Forest Management in Odisha and to use the forest resources for generating revenue to the State, the Government set up Odisha Forest Corporation Ltd, a Company under the Companies Act,1956, in the year 1962.
The Odisha Forest Corporation Ltd was renamed to Odisha Forest Development Corporation Ltd (OFDC) in the year 1991 after merger of two other Forestry based Corporations namely Similipal Forest Development Corporation Ltd and Odisha Plantation Development Corporation Ltd with it. Odisha Forest Development Corporation Ltd (earlier known as Odisha Forest Corporation Ltd) is a wholly owned Government of Odisha, India Undertaking and the oldest Forestry based Government Corporation in the Country.
Acting as Commercial Wing of Forest Department, Govt. of Odisha, OFDC sells the Timber and Firewood to the public with and without value addition. In order to provide much needed sawing facility, OFDC has Nine Sawmills at various places in the state. It saws Round Timbers at its saw mill and supplies sawn sizes for building Chariots of Lords for the annual Car Festival at Puri, Odisha. It harvest Long Bamboo and supplies to the local Bamboo artisan to them at concessional rate.
It undertakes much required scientific forestry operation as per prescription of approved Working Plan/ Working Scheme for maintaining the health & hygiene of the Forest and harvests Timber, Firewood, Bamboo and sell these products with and without value addition. It also does cleaning and silviculture operation required for maintaining health and hygiene of the Forest as assigned by the Government.
After Nationalisation of Kenduleaf in the year 1973, it sells Kenduleaf as a sole selling agent of the Government. In recent years, it has expanded its operation in the field of plantations and greening projects. It is engaged in reforesting mining area, degraded lands, Green Belt creation around an industrial zone and establishing several eco parks and landscaping of stadiums and institutional campus, avenue plantation etc.
OFDC sells hygienically processed Forest Honey collected from the peripheri of the Similipal Biosphere region and sell its under its own Brand. In addition, it also produces Pickles of number of varieties, Squash and a Ready to Serve Soft Drinks made from Lemon, Ginger and Lemon in its Canning unit.
Towards fulfilling its mandate it directly and indirectly helps it creating employment opportunities for people living within and at periphery of forests especially for weaker sections of Society and thus helps in reducing dependency of these people on forest leading to protection of forest and wildlife. The Corporation is also contributed substantial amount to the exchequer which helps the Government to take up various developmental measures for the people associated with the trade. OFDC is a Zero Debt and Profit making Corporation of the Government of Odisha and paying dividend regularly to the Government.