‘Trees Outside the Forests’ project gets good response

Coimbatore: During 2009-2010 nearly one lakh teak seedlings have been planted in farmlands in Coimbatore District by the Forest Division and Social Forestry Division under the project, ‘Tree Cultivation in Private Lands’. The project is also called the ‘Trees Outside the Forests’.

Green cover

The initiative implemented as part of a State-wide scheme was carried out by Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore Circle, R. Kannan and District Forest Officer, I. Anwardeen in an effort to increase the green cover of the district and to provide economic gains to farmers.

Totally 262 farmers were benefitted in one year.

Another 50,000 seedlings have been distributed free of cost to farmers by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department under the same scheme.

Large scale plantation

Mr. Anwardeen said that Mr.Kannan had provided all logistical assistance, guidance and impetus for the scheme and Tamil Nadu is the pioneer State to implement this large scale tree plantation initiative by the Forest Department.

During 2009-10 about 91 lakh casuarinas, teak and other seedlings were planted in the farmlands of Tamil Nadu by the department.

The tree cover outside the forest area in Tamil Nadu is estimated to be 3.82 per cent of the geographical area as per Forest Survey of India 2009 report and the national average is 2.82 per cent.

Drip irrigation

The forest cover of the State is 17.94. Many farmers have opted for even drip irrigation for the teak plantations which are grown as intercrop agro forestry model. These trees over a period would help in keeping the environment clean, studies said.

The trees grown will enhance financial benefits to farmers and increate the area under tree cover in the State.

Timber

Timber produced from the farmlands will meet the demand of the future.

It is estimated that the industrial demand of the country is likely to increase from 58 million cu.m. in 2000 to 153 million cu.m. in 2020.

The import of timber and timber products had increased substantially from 2.45 million cu.m in. in 2001 to 16.7 million cu.m. in 2008.

The trees grown now would help in meeting the timber needs and reducing import.

V.S. Palaniappan from THE HINDU

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