Social forestry wing to help farmers take commercial route

By TheHindu on 02 Oct 2017 | read
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The social forestry division of Chittoor district has mooted distribution of commercially viable saplings such as red sanders, teak, tamarind, blackberry and amla to the farmers belonging to the SC/ST and Backward Class communities in the five mandals of Nagalapauram, Pichatur, Narayanavanam, Puttur and Nindra, which are selected as part of the pilot project.

The saplings would be supplied to the farmers free of cost on furnishing the details of aadhaar numbers and pattadar passbooks to forest officials at the mandal level. This pilot project is part of plan to raise one crore trees per annum in the direction of 50% forest cover by 2029.

Distributing the free saplings to the farmers in Puttur division on Sunday, Divisional Forest Officer (Social Forestry) G. Srinivasulu said that in order to encourage more and more number of farmers to raise commercially viable plantations, the Forest Department would provide saplings free to tune of one thousand numbers to each farmer, apart from bearing the transportation costs.

“For each of the plants which would survive and show healthy growth, a farmer would be provided with cash incentive for it. We will give orientation to the farmers on the subject of raising red sanders and teak plantations and as to how to reap economic benefits out of it through our nursery personnel. In addition to these high quality timber species, the nurseries would also raise bag plants of fruit-bearing varieties,” the official said.

The DFO said that so far nearly 26 lakh saplings of various species were being planted all over the district in 2017, with a target to enhance the number of bag plants to meet the requirement of farmers and social forestry schemes in 2018. He sought the field level staff to prepare action plans in this regard, identifying the demand for commercially viable varieties.

Mr. Srinivasulu said that in order to bring the ongoing social forestry schemes and their success rate to the notice of the Chief Minister, all the agencies involved in the “50% forest cover by 2029 target” were sought to furnish the details on the internet by uploading information and photographs at their work stations.

“The field officials, farmers or general public who want to upload information on the government website can approach the social forestry division officials at mandal and district levels and avail the orientation classes and watching demonstrations,” the official said.

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