Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane is a hit in rural areas

Evokes poor response in city; department blames it on space constraint

Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane (Agriculture forest encouragement scheme), which aims at popularising afforestation programmes among people, especially farmers, in the State has received good response in Bantwal, Puttur, Subrahmanya ranges in Dakshina Kannada.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Deputy Conservator of Forest O Palaiah said that the response has been good in interior places and not in Mangalore city.

The department is ready with 2,47,800 saplings for distribution among the public. Under the scheme, the farmers will give the indent for the saplings. Depending on the demand, the saplings will be distributed to the farmers on priority basis. The nurseries have already grown the saplings of teak wood, ‘honne,’ gooseberry, neem, teak, ‘Mathi’ etc. As the programme was launched last year, the department had received only 85 applications from the farmers last year.

Sources in the department said: “The Department of Social Forestry has been promoting various programmes to boost afforestation in the past. But most of the programmes were limited to government departments and educational institutions.

In this scheme, encouragement fund will be given to farmers who ensured the survival of the plants distributed to them. It is a three-year programme and 400 saplings would be given at subsidised rates to farmers to cover a maximum of one hectare of land. Based on the number of surviving plants, the department will offer Rs 10 as encouragement fund for each plant after a year of planting. Similarly, if the same plants survived for the next year, then each plant will fetch Rs 15. In the third year, Rs 20 will be given to farmers, if the plants survive.”

The official said that the department has taken all measures to distribute saplings to farmers who produced documents showing ownership of land.  A total of 12 varieties of plants, including eucalyptus, acacia, silver oak, rubber, coconut and arecanut, were not listed among saplings for distribution.

M’lore lags behind

Sources said not many people have shown interest in Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane in Mangalore City. Lack of space to grow saplings may be the reason for poor response. In City, people have five to ten cents land and the forest trees can not be grown in the available land, sources added.

Though the department has been receiving good response for ‘Maguvigondu mara shaalegondu vana’ scheme, majority of the schools do not have compound wall in the district. Without the compound wall, it is a waste to plant saplings, as the saplings will be eaten away by the cattle. However, the department has grown 26,700 saplings to be distributed under the scheme. Mango, blueberry, jackfruit, ‘hebbalasu’ ‘Kokum’ have been grown in the nursery, sources said.

Plan to grow sandalwood

The forest department is planning to grow sandalwood in 20 hectare forest area in Veerakamba reserve forest of Bantwal taluk during the year. “We have identified the land suitable for growing sandalwood and have started the work on planting sandalwood saplings,” said sources in forest department.

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