Agro varsities to distribute free saplings

Speaking with mediapersons here on Thursday, Forest Minister C H Vijayashankar said his ambitious project ‘Agro Forest Development Project’ to green the State will take wings on  June 15. He announced that the department will distribute over 1.3 crore saplings during this year. The department has about 1.5 crore saplings, of which about one crore can be spared for the project, while the varsities are yet to inform us about the availability of saplings with them, he said.

Vijayashankar said the farmers have to register themselves to get the saplings in the gram, panchayat and zilla panchayat offices. The department officers will collect the forms once a week.

The farmers can also submit their forms in regional Range Forest Officers offices, he said. Under the programme, a farmer will get Rs 45 to plant a sapling and take care of it for three years. Of the Rs 45, he would get Rs 10 in the first year, Rs 15 in the second year and Rs 20 in the third year. The Government has planned to spend Rs 19 crore under the programme during this year.

The State Government has drawn up a plan to revive the glory of Coorg (Kodagu) oranges now facing the threat of extinction. As per the plan, the Forest department will buy all Coorg oranges produced during this year to produce saplings, which in turn, will be distributed to people free of cost.

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