Mumbai,(The Hindu): Moving away from planting Acacia auriculiformis and Casuarina equisetifolia, the social forestry wing of the Forest Department has brought 87 hectares under Kokum (Garcinia indica) in Dakshina Kannada now.
In addition, the department has planted Kokum plants, a Western Ghats species, on roadside, covering 150.5 km.
According to Deputy Conservator of Forests, Social Forestry, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, J. Srinivasa Murthy, Kokum plants have been mainly planted on the roadside from Guruvayankere to Naravi and between Naravi and Moodbidri, and other parts of Belthangady taluk. The wing is now focussing on planting Western Ghats species to discourage planting of Acacia auriculiformis and Casuarina equisetifolia meant for dry land.
He said that the wing would distribute cashew saplings to people, particularly under the Krushi Aranya Protsaha Yojane, for the first time from the next planting season starting from June 2019. It has been planned to distribute 25,000 cashew saplings. It is now collecting samples of cashew saplings for finalising for distribution next year. By planting cashew plants, people can earn an income.
Stating that 1,200 hectares were under social forestry in the district now, he said that the wing is planting Casuarina equisetifolia in minimum quantity only on such land having rocky soil.
In addition, the wing has taken up planting hebbalasu and jackfruit in large quantity. There were not many buyers for teak saplings in the district, he said.
Mr. Murthy said that under the Krushi Aranya Protsaha Yojane, below poverty line families get Rs. 100 each for planting a plant for three years. Of this, they get Rs. 40 each in the first two years and Rs. 20 in the third year for taking care of the plant.
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