Friday, October 21, 2011

Project report for cultivation of Casuarina in irrigated condition and cultivation of Eucalyptus under rain fed condition.

Dear Friends,

A preliminary project report was prepared by me for a corporate farm last year for getting in-principle clearance from their H.O and from their Bankers. I have published that report here below with the belief that this will greatly help our fellow farmers in preparing reports for bankers with repayment schedule easily.


PROJECT REPORT FOR PULP WOOD PLANTATION
Objective:

To establish a pulp wood plantation in 500 acres in the farm lands of M/s.......... Ltd., with Eucalyptus hybrid clones and Casuarina Junghuhniana clones as main crops.


Introduction & Scope:
This report is prepared at the behest of Sri. ............, Regional Manager, ................ Ltd.,Tirunelveli by A.Vishnu Sankar, (Mob.........................), President of the Tirunelveli District Tree Growers Association and an approved contractor (Readers please note: I am not a contractor now) to undertake the Farm Forestry scheme of TNPL, Karur.


It is a welcome gesture from M/s................ Ltd., to utilize the vast tracts of cultivable drylands (rainfed farm lands) in their possession in Southern districts of Tamilnadu, to a productive cum profitable purpose with bare minimum investment.


As many farmers / corporate entities have now come to realize that the cultivation of horticulture crops in rain fed dry lands is unremunerative, most of them are turning to the most promising Agroforestry / Silviculture cultivation. Mostly, preference is given to ‘Fast Growing Trees of commercial importance’ in order to cut short the long gestation period a tree growing project normally involves.

In general the following fast growing timber trees are recommended for the plains of southern India:
1. Gmelina arborea (Kumil, Kumula maram in Tamil)

2. Melia dubia (Malai Vembu in Tamil)

3. Casuarina junghuhniana (Indonesian / Junguniana Savukku in Tamil)

4. Ailanthus excelsa (Perumaram, Pee maram, Peematti in Tamil)

5. Grewia tiliaefolia (Thadasu, Sadachi in Tamil)

6. Khaya senegalansis (Kaya or Senegal Mahogany in Tamil)

7. Albizia falcataria (Kattumaram in Tamil)

8. Pterocarpus santalinus (Red Sanders/ Sivappu Santhanam in Tamil)

9. Acacia auriculiformis (Pencil Tree in Tamil)

10. Anthocephalus cadamba (Vellai Kadambu in Tamil)

11. Eucalyptus - (Tamil: Thaila maram)

12. Bamboo (Varieties: Bambusa nutans, B. Bamboos, B. tulda, B. vulgaris, B. Balcooa)

Selection of appropriate Tree varieties:


Bearing in mind the factors such as our soil type, soil fertility, soil depth, MSL, rainfall, impossibility of providing supplementary irrigation, dry land tree cultivation in 100% rain fed condition, and above all the marketability of the wood , we can safely select only the following two varieties:

1) Casuarina junghuhniana clones
2) Eucalyptus clones.

For commercial cultivation of the above two tree species, good technical guidance, supply of high yielding clonal planting materials and buy back agreement with a reliable buyer are utmost necessity. ‘TNPL’ will naturally fit into that slot of reliable buyer with whom we can enter into a contract agreement for the cultivation of Casuarina junghuhniana clones and Eucalyptus clones under Farm Forestry scheme.

TAMIL NADU NEWSPRINT AND PAPERS LIMITED:


Government of Tamil Nadu Enterprise) Kagithapuram – 639 136. Karur District
Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL) is a Government of Tamil Nadu Enterprise producing Newsprint and Printing & Writing paper at its Mill located at Kagithapuram in Karur District with an installed capacity of 2.45 lakh MT per annum. TNPL is producing different varieties paper of acceptable quality primarily from Bagasse and pulpwood and currently taking up the expansion of paper production capacity from 2.45 Lac MT to 4 Lac MT per annum. TNPL, therefore, requires continuous availability of about 4.5 Lac MT of pulpwood per annum. Against this backdrop, TNPL has embarked upon development of plantation in the year 2004-05 and launched a plantation scheme called Farm Forestry scheme.

 
FARM FORESTRY SCHEME:

Through this farm forestry scheme, the Company motivates and facilitates the farmers to take up pulpwood plantation. Under this scheme, dry land farmers in the State are encouraged to cultivate pulpwood trees. The salient features of the Scheme are:
  1. Dry land farmers in the State are encouraged to cultivate pulpwood trees in their lands, which are currently barren.


  2. TNPL provides high quality seedlings/clones to the farmers at concessional rates. (Rs.3.50 / Clone).


  3. TNPL enters into an agreement with the farmers to buy the pulpwood at the prevailing market price at the time of harvest or at the minimum support price guaranteed at the time of entering into contract whichever is higher. (current price Rs.2000 / Ton).


  4. TNPL provides assistance to the eligible farmers in obtaining bank finance. The principal amount together with interest is to be repaid after the harvest.


  5. TNPL provides free technical assistance for planting and advisory services after planting of seedlings/clones in farmers' lands.


  6. TNPL arranges harvesting and transport of pulpwood from the farmers' field to factory at company’s cost.

TNPL has established an area of about 50,000 acres under farm forestry scheme involving about 10000 farmers in 15 districts of Tamil Nadu within a span of five years and is committed to raise plantation in about 15000 acres every year to attain the target of 1,00,000 acres by the end of 2012.


The above plantation scheme is being implemented throughout Tamil Nadu through 10 regional offices providing advice and technical assistance to tree growers. The designated officer of TNPL for Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari District is Mr.Krishnasamy, Mob.94425 91418.


Casuarina:
All information relating to Casuarina cultivation, tips to increase yield, photographs of fields with Casuarina plantations, Clonal production centre of TNPL Etc., can be had from this blog: agrowmania.blogspot.com. Please click this 'Casuarina Link'.

Cultivation details can be also had from: http://www.fcrinaip.org/casuarina_cultivation.php

This crop requires supplementary irrigation in peak and prolonged summer that is difficult to provide by the promoters with the poor irrigation facility available at present in the field. Retaining moisture in the soil by providing flood irrigation at least once in a month is necessary for Casuarina cultivation. Though this crop is most suited for our soil, it is advisable to reduce the area under Casuarina, to eliminate risks.

So the given mandate of selecting tree crops for cultivation in 100% dryland should be altered to include this crop by providing irrigation facility.

The safest way is to go for drip irrigation system thereby we can increase the area with minimum water usage and to obtain a bountiful harvest. We can take up Casuarina cultivation in a minimum of 50 acres in the fields where water availability is adequate.


Cost of cultivation of Casuarina junghuhniana:
Please note that the cost figures and yield estimates are only symbolic and sketchy. The calculations may vary depending upon the fertility of the soil, spacing, dosage of fertilizer, irrigation schedule; proper and timely pruning and other related Good Agriculture Practices.





  • Please note that a small fraction of farmers are getting a yield of 70 Tons and above in an acre and the majority farmers are able to get only 40 Tons – 50 Tons from 31/2 to 4 years crop will explain many questions on the yield front. So a realistic,achievable target of (Average yield ) 55 tons / Acre was taken for the estimates.

'EUCALYPTUS' Cultivation:

This species is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, a favoured species for the commercial plantations companies owing to its:

● fast growth,
● greater vigour,
● drought resistant nature,
● insect resistant characters,
● adaptability to a variety of agroclimatic conditions,
● adaptability to varied soil conditions (from good to degraded soils).
● moderately salt tolerant,
● relatively fire resistant,
● strong coppice capability (Ratooning),

Details about introduction, cultivation and management of Eucalyptus can be had from this link: http://www.fcrinaip.org/eucalyptus_cultivation.php

YIELD:

The growing stock and yield in eucalyptus plantations varies considerably depending on the site, the climatic conditions and the inputs.

Eucalyptus clonal plantations perform better than seedling origin plantations. Apart from increase in productivity, the rotation period is reduced by half.

As per TNPL records, the average yield from the well managed private plantations of Eucalyptus clones is about 40 Tons/acre in 5 years.






YEAR WISE BREAKUP OF PROJECT COST FOR CASUARINA 50 ACRES AND EUCALYPTUS UNDER 450 ACRES :





CONCLUSION: Any agricultural project involves some amount of risk in it, as agriculture is subjected to vagaries of monsoon which is not under the control of the farmer. To compound the matter further, unscientific approach by the farmer without proper understanding of soil health, wrong selection of crops and inadequate funding leads to ‘high-risk zone’ that is called AGRICULTURE.

But here, we have prepared a significant project, wherein importance has been given to solutions (to risks) and thereby eliminating risks in the planning stage itself. The main ideas conceived by us to make our project a grand success are summarized here below:
  • Selecting drought tolerant tree varieties for drought prone area.

  • Both the selected crops are some of the fastest growing trees in the world.


  • Both the crops have adaptability to varied soil / agroclimatic conditions.

  • No need for fencing the crop area as cattle do not graze these two crops.

  • Possibility of theft is almost Nil when compared to Horticultural crops.

  • Reducing the area under Casuarina to our irrigation capacity.

  • Provision of drip irrigation system for Casuarina for higher yields.

  • Selection of Hybrid clonal Casuarina jughuhniana variety for higher yields.

  • Selection of Hybrid clonal Eucalyptus for higher yields.

  • Procurement of high quality planting materials from TNPL at concessional rates.

  • Planting coincides with the onset of North East monsoon, hence mortality of plants will be Nil and their establishment in the soil will be far better.

  • It has been planned to provide sufficient plant spacing for efficient use of machines instead of manpower for deweeding.

  • Marketing the harvested produce is made simpler by entering into ‘Contract agreement’ with the market leader - ‘TNPL’.

  • Harvesting cost, Loading cost and Transportation of pulpwood from our lands to the TNPL’s factory at Kagithapuram, Karur will be borne by TNPL thereby saving not only our money but also our precious time and considerable energy.

  • As Eucalyptus has coppice capability, the plantation can be retained for 18 years.


  • We can get more income from the ratoon crops of Eucalyptus because of faster and more cycles and reduced expenditure in the ratoon stages.

  • Free technical assistance for planting and advisory services after planting can be had from TNPL.

  • TNPL and M/s Forest College and Research Institute, (FC & RI) Mettupalayam are Consortia partners in the NAIP-ICAR sponsored project. Hence we can avail free technical assistance from FC & RI also.

  • We can arrange inspection of our fields by experienced officers from the ‘Forest Department of Tamilnadu’ and the scientists from ‘Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding’ (IFGTB), Coimbatore also.

Hence, considering all the above positive features I recommend you to implement the project in whole as per the project implementation schedule for attaining a 100% success in this maiden venture.

Please find here in attached a model format of ‘Contract Agreement of TNPL’ for perusal.

Thanking you,

A.Vishnu Sankar.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Leaf and bark pattern of Dalbergia sissoo and Dalbergia latifolia:

Dear friends,

This post has become necessary to clear the doubts among our readers about the identification of Dalbergia sissoo (Sisu) and Dalbergia latifolia (Eeti, Thothakathi, East Indian Rose wood).

  • Sissoo leaves have pointing tip whereas the leaves of Latifolia are blunt and rounded.
  • While the bark of D.Sissoo is dark brown, very rough thick layer and with cracks, the bark of D.Latifolia is gray in colour, thin and smooth in appearance.
Refer the following links also:
Link 1
Link 2
and my previous posts on Sissoo.


(Please note that the pictures showing leaf pattern of Dalbergia latifolia were taken with the trunk of Gmelina arborea (Kumil) in the background).

Regards,
Vishnu Sankar

Monday, August 29, 2011

Melia Dubia ( Tamil: Malai Vembu ) plantation and veneer:

A Melia dubia (Malai Vembu in Tamil, Hebbevu in Kannada, Konda Veppa in Telugu) mother plant bed in FCRI, Mettupalayam. 

A 'Melia dubia' plantation 1 year and 8 months old in FCRI, Mettupalayam.
Veneer (a layer of plywood) is a thin sheet of wood of uniform thickness cut on a lathe by rotating a log against a knife blade in a peeling operation. Since Melia dubia is a low grade timber; it is widely being used as inner and back veneer in plywood making and it is not used as face veneer.

A rotary cut veneer from Melia dubia, 60” in Width, 4 mm in thickness on display at FCRI, Mettupalayam.
Regards,
Vishnu Sankar

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stem borer attack in Melia dubia (Malai vembu)


Dear friends,
A keen follower of this blog has sent the following queries and pictures for clarification.

Question:

I have planted around 600 Malai Vembu in my agriculture land in Salem @ a spacing of 10 feet x 10 feet. The trees are about 8 month old, drip irrigated and have attained a height of about 10 to 12 feet. I am facing two problems now. There is bulging of stem in some plants and the earlier occurred plants broke subsequently. This bulging of stem occurs at various heights of the plant. Is it Stem borer ('Thandu Puzhu' in Tamil)? Whether Phorate application controls it?

Secondly I notice branches shooting out and in some trees they fall down on their own on reaching a length of 3 to 4 feet. Shall I allow these branches to grow? Please suggest me solutions for these.

Answer: The above pictures were sent to Dr.K.K.Suresh, Prof & Head, Dept. of Forestry and Silviculture, Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam, and Mr.Sivakumar, Senior Scientist, IFGTB, Coimbatore for their opinion. Replies received:

  • It looks like stem borer. You may make your observation in the point of breaking of stem for any bore hole for confirming the presence of stem borer.

  • The treatment recommended for Casuarina stem borer attack may be followed. Inserting wire through the bore hole to remove the feeding larvae and applying insecticide soaked cotton (15ml of dichlorvos). Injecting insecticide into the holes where the larvae puss out their frass is the effective method. Inject after removal of frass.

  • Application of Phorate in the soil may not be appropriate at this chronic stage. Since the pest is a borer, application of phorate in the soil around the stem disrupts its life cycle and multiplication.

  • For clear examination, send cut portion of the infected region through courier for a clear examination and for recommending the right control measure.

  • Once the stem break you will notice new shoots coming out just below the broken portion. You have to cut the tree at the base and allow the coppice shoot at the base to come up (See the picture below) and not the shoot at the top (near the broken point), as this may dislodge if there is heavy wind.















  • Breaking of branches may also be due to attack by some insects as this tree does not shed branches of its own as done in Eucalyptus.
  • Remove and burn all broken branches in which the breeding takes place.

  • If the pest attack exceeds the threshold limit, spraying of 0.2% dichlorvos with 0.2% Chlorpyrifos or Monocrotophos as foliar application followed by soil application of 20 gm of Phorate or Carbofuran per plant will give desired result.
My sincere and heartfelt thanks on behalf of all the readers to the above two scientists for giving this detailed reply.

Regards,
Vishnu Sankar.

Leaf pattern of Dalbergia Sissoo (Tamil : Sissoo)


Dear friends,

I am uploading this picture to help you differentiate Dalbergia sissoo from Dalbergia latifolia (Eetti, Rose wood). Sissoo leaves have pointing tip where as the leaves of Latifolia are blunt and rounded.

Leaf pattern of Sissoo:



Intricate wood carving from Sissoo wood panel:



A Dalbergia latifolia tree:




Please click the link to differentiate between Sissoo and Eetii
or 'East Indian Rose Wood' from 'Indian Rose Wood'.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Melia dubia (malai vembu) yield statistics:

Dear friends,

Tamil agricultural magazine “Pasumai Vikatan”, in it’s July 10, 2011 issue, has published yield statistics of Melia dubia (
Malai Vembu in Tamil, Hebbevu in Kannada, Konda Veppa in Telugu) in irrigated fields. I have also personally visited those farms at Sennampatty village of Erode district to verify the veracity of yield claims.

Spacing in feet ----Yield / acre / Annum / Tons

4 x 4 --------------------27

5 x 5 --------------------29

6 x 6 --------------------27

7 x 7 --------------------21


Farmers have obtained better yield in 5’ x 5’ spacing. Please bear in mind that the above smaller spacing is recommended only when you go for supplying the produce to biomass power companies where quantity matters and size or quality of log doesn’t matter.
Regards,
Vishnu Sankar

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Agroforestry practices and cropping patterns

Dear friends,

A Ppt presentation explaining the following concepts is presented here:



  • The basic concepts of Agroforestry,



  • the agroforestry practices,



  • cropping patterns for tree crops,



  • list of fodder giving trees,



  • list of Nitrogen fixing trees,



  • seed treatment method and inoculation with VAM,



  • list of economically important fast growing tree species,



  • trees that have gained wide spread acceptance among the farmers,



  • list of long standing, hard wood trees that have good market value



  • and the Govt. subsidy for medicinal value trees.
Click this thumbnail to view the presentation:

(Pictures, drawings and illustrations shown in this presentation are taken from various websites and they are used here for educative purpose only and not for any monetary gains).

Regards,
Vishnu Sankar

Friday, April 29, 2011

Anthocephalus cadamba ( Vellai Kadambu in Tamil)






Dear friends,

The Forest Extension division of Department of Forests, Tamilnadu, India has come out with a video with narrartion from the Chief Conservator of forests (Extension), Mr. Irulandi to promote the cultivation of Anthocephalus cadamba ( Vellai Kadambu in Tamil).



(To know the difference with Manja Kadambu click this link: Haldinia cardifolia (Tamil :Manja Kadambu).


To view the video click this youtube link.


Regards,
Vishnu Sankar

Importance of trees

Dear friends,

The Forest Extension division of Department of Forests, Tamilnadu has released a video with a nice little speech about the importance of trees by M.Karthi, a cute little girl from Coimbatore. A must see video for tree lovers!


video


Regards,
Vishnu Sankar

Monday, April 11, 2011

Viability of Fresh water fish culture in mini pond.

Dear friends,

I am a beneficiary under Tamilnadu ‘IAMWARM’-Phase-II, Nitchebanathi river/ Kalingalar sub-basin scheme through which a farm pond was excavated in my field by Agricultural Engineering Department of Tirunelveli.

I am greatly benefitted by the above scheme particularly from the pond wherein I was able to store the harvested rain water for a period of more than 4 months resulting in good water supply in my nearby open well.

The policy makers of the above project have devised a plan to promote aquaculture in these ponds to augment some income generation to the farmers. They envisaged a net revenue of Rs.10000/- per pond and farmers were provided with fishlings, fish feed and fish culture techniques free of cost by the Fisheries Department.


My experience as a first time fish farmer was rather good (or should I say 'palatable') since I had been getting fish to my kitchen throughout the year. On this account, I hereby express my wholehearted thanks to the officials who trained me well in fresh water aquaculture.



  • Economic viability of Aquaculture in small Farm ponds:

It is clearly stated in trial reports and text books of Fisheries College and Research Institute that inland fresh water aquaculture in such small ponds as 'unviable' due to various factors. This assessment is found to be correct in my experience also.

The details of fish varieties released in the pond, quantity of feed provided and the quantity of fish harvested are given below:

  1. Pond size : Top 42m x 24m, Bottom 40m x 22m, Depth 1.45m.

  2. Initial stocking date: : 23-12-2009

  3. Fish varieties and quantity released: Katla–400 + Rogu–200 + Mirugal –400 = 1000. (Roughly 1 fish per 1 square metre. These Gangetic carp varieties can withstand tough climatic conditions when compared to native varieties)

  4. Inputs from the farm provided as fish feed: Groundnut cake 100 Kg, Cow dung 4 tractor loads, rice bran, harvested grain residues of black gram, red gram and paddy, rice unfit for human consumption, cooked rice and other crop residues.

  5. Fish feed supplied by the Dept.(FREE of cost) : 600 Kg. (“Grobest Fish feed -9201' - 50 Kg.x 12 bags, Value Rs.12,000/-) Daily feeding rate @2 to 3% of total fish body weight for 2 times per day.

  6. Date of Harvest : 04-04-2011

  7. Yield : 447 kg.

  8. Average weight of fish : 650 gm.

  9. Harvest charges : NIL (Included in the price)

  10. Selling Price : Rs. 45 per Kg.

  11. Gross income : Rs.20,115/-



  • Notes:

  • We were able to store rain water initially for 4 months from Jan 09 to Apr 09 and then for 2 months from Nov 10 to Dec 10 only and for the rest of the period well water was used to maintain a very low water level of 1.5 feet only.

  • Due to low water level and scanty feeding there was no marked improvement in ‘weight gain’ of fishes noticed after Oct,2010.

  • No mortality even during peak summer periods when the water level was as low as 1 feet.

  • No infections or diseases noticed.

  • Weight of Mirugal and Rogu (min.500 gm to max 750 gm) were better than Katla which had not gained weight more than 0.350 gm. Few CC varieties which some how got mixed with the fishlings gained a weight in the range of 2 to 2.5 Kg.

  • The total cost of fishlings at the time of initial stocking, value of feed provided to the fishes and the labour cost involved for feeding and pond maintenance came to Rs.20000/- approx. Please note that the gross income from the sale of harvested fish was also Rs.20000/- approx. So, there was no profit or no gain for an one year effort.

  • Cost of fishlings Rs.2000 + Cost of Fish feed Rs.12,000/- totaling Rs.14000 was fully paid by the Fisheries Department. What would have happened to me if I had purchased fishlings and the fish feed out of my pocket is anybody's guess!
Yours friendly, A.Vishnu Sankar

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pictures of Melia dubia trial plot:

Dear friends,


    Please go through our earlier post in this link where pictures of Melia dubia (Malai Vembu in Tamil, Hebbevu in Kannada, Konda Veppa in Telugu) in trial plot was published. Now see what it looks like exactly after one year!

    • Melia dubia (Malai vembu) bordering Sugar cane field:

    • Melia dubia (Malai vembu) as intercrop with Mango:

    • Melia dubia (Malai vembu) as intercrop with Mango):

    • Casuarina Jhunghuhniana as intercrop with Melia dubia (Malai vembu): (In the foreground is Kaya senegalansis with thick foliage and Gmelina arborea (Kumil) with withered leaves)

    • Casuarina junghuhniana as intercrop with Melia dubia (Malai vembu):

    Melia dubia trial plot is without irrigation for the past 6 months and we left it to the mercy of rain God. Due to severe drought wells are dry and there is no water even to provide thro' drip irrigation system. Melia sheds all its leaves except in the apical part and survives the hot summer.
    The Gmelina arborea (Kumil) planted along with the above Melia dubia, could not able to survive this extreme drought condition and dried up.



    • See the drought symptoms in the leaves of Casuarina jughuhniana also:

    Regards,
    Vishnu Sankar

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    A Book on Melia dubia (Malai vembu)

    Dear farmer friends,

    Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding Institute (IFGTB), Coimbatore, in collaboration with Tamilnadu Forest Dept. (Extension), has organized a Tree Growers Mela on Feb, 24 & 25, 2011 with an obejective to familiarise farmers with modern and improved tree farming methods and market opportunities.

    At the inagural function IFGTB has released a nice looking, very informative book titled "Melia dubia" (Malai Vembu in Tamil, Hebbevu in Kannada, Konda Veppa in Telugu) with about 55 pictures in both Tamil and English version. It was authored by Mrs.Rekha R.Warrier with active support from fellow scientists and the Director of IFGTB, Dr.N.Krishna Kumar,IFS.



    Though this magic tree has caught the attention of farmers due to its fast growth and high economic returns they have been left in the lurch as there is dearth of information and authentic source to know about its growth performance, yield, log quality, pulping details and above all its basic cultivation technique. IFGTB has brought out this book at a right time and information provided in this booklet will be of great use for all those concerned with the cultivation of Melia dubia (Malai vembu).

    Some excerpts from the book: (Especially for farmers who seek details to improve germination rate of Melia seeds).

    Fruit collection: It is best to adopt ground collection of fallen fruits than obtain them by climbing and shaking of the branches. .... Care should be taken to collect only the ripe yellow or brown fruits. Green fruits indicate immaturity and should not be collected.

    Processing and handling: After collection, the fruits can be transported to the place of processing in gunny bags or Bamboo baskets. Ripe yellow fruits can be depulped easily if the fruits undergo fermentation and heating as the pulp is difficult to remove. ...... fermentation can be hastened by soaking the fruits in slightly acidified water (pH 5.5 - 5.6) or in lime water (diluted Calcium Hydroxide solution). Once fermented, the fruits are macerated in Bamboo baskets and thoroughly washed under running water so that even a small quantity of pulp is not adhered to the seeds. Sand can be used as an abrasive to remove the pulp thoroughly. ..... If the pulp is not thorougly removed, the drupes are susceptible to fungal infestation.

    Storage and viability: The drupes thus extracted have to be sun-dried for ten days in shade. Cleaned and dried drupes can then be stored in gunny bags or sealed tins for one or two years without losing viability.

    Seed Processing and pretreatments: Reports state very poor germination in Melia. ..... Various pretreatments like:

    hot water soaking (60-70 degree C),

    boiling water treatment (100 Degree C),

    roasting drupes at 60 degree C for 5-10 minutes,

    storing of drupes in farm yard manure,

    treatment with concentrated sulphuric acid,

    drupes collected from the spittings of goats,

    soaking of drupes in cow dung slurry for two to fifteen days,

    cutting the hard endocarp of drupes and soaking drupes in cold water for a week

    have been suggested to improve the germination rate of Melia dubia. ..... The major constraints in germination identified in the species at IFGTB are the source of collection, time and medium of sowing. (Seeds stored for a min of one year show better germination over fresh ones).

    NURSERY: (Seed sowing) The drupes should be graded in water to remove floating drupes prior to sowing. Cleaned and dried drupes should be sown in the open raised nursery beds, in drilled lines, 5cm apart. About 6-7 kgs of dried drupes containing about 1500 numbers are required for one standard nursery bed (10x1m). The drupes sown need to be watered regularly.

    The content of the book also includes 1.Maintenance of seedlings 2. Vegetative propagation 3. Plantation methods 4. Silvicultural characteristics 5. Planting space 6. Pests and diseases 7. Recommended intercrops 8. Wood properties 9. Timber characteristics 10. Wood processing 11. Uses 12. Growth statistics 13.Economics 14. Problems in identification of Melia dubia and Melia azedarach.

    The above book is available in both Tamil and English version and can be purchased from: The Director, IFGTB, PB:1061, Forest campus, Coimbatore - 641 002, Tamilnadu. Price Rs.100/-

    "Plant Melia for prosperity"

    Regards,

    A.Vishnu Sankar

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