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 Environment Corner   Friend of the Earth  Comments by Forestry Dept.

Production of tree crop on degraded wasteland successfully was our main objective to take up Agro Forestry Project in 1994 (around Raipur of Madhya Pradesh now known as Chhatisgarh).

The Agro Forestry Project shall create:

» Massive employment opportunities among the rural poor.
» Reduce pressure on natural forests for fuel, fodder and commercial timber.
» Prevent top soil erosion, improve water holding capacity of the soil and recharge under ground water and provide     clean environment.
» Also, the utilization of hazardous industrial waste such as fly ash and sewage sludge can be used for development of    waste lands.

SELECTION OF LOCATION AND ITS DEVELOPMENT

The above views in mind, the project was slated to go off the ground around Raipur in Madhya Pradesh (now Chhatisgarh), where vast tracts of red murrum lateritic soil are available.

This soil is poor in nutrients and other features which are very essentials for agricultural development. The area's rainfall varies from 800mm to 1500mm., and the temperature ranges from 30 degree to 48 degree Celsius.

The first phase of plantation on such red murrum soil started in early 1995 near Khushmi village of the Durg district, on 90 acres plot.



In preparation of the site, special care had been taken for conservation of the moisture and the abetment of the soil. The barrel field was first deep ploughed and left out for pulverization. Then flyash (approx 3 truck loads (30mt) per acre), good soil (5 truck loads per acre (50mt)) and sewage sludge / FYM (2 truck loads per acre) were dumped, spread, ploughed back again and finally leveled off. Pit Digging (2ft x 2` x 2`) and Spacing at 4M x 3M were done. The soil being poor in nutrients, each pit was filled with a mixture of good and local soil, organic and inorganic fertilizers, and manures. Planting was done in pit from nursery stock. All our fields were comprehensively networked with the essential Drip Irrigation System. If a plant needs 10 litre of water per day, it will discharge the same amount of water, no less.

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