Thursday, December 20, 2012

Suggestions to improve 'Tamilnadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project':

Dear Friends,

We would like to bring to everybody's notice that through 'Tirunelveli District Tree Growers Association', we have made several suggestions to the Forest Department of Tamilnadu to improve ‘Tamilnadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project’ (TBGP), to turn it more farmer friendly at the execution level, in order to achieve the desired objective of planting 10 crore trees in 5 years. As special invitees, we had participated in many TBGP meetings right from the time of its inception to its' present advanced execution stage.

In reel life it is very common to witness scenes where petitions from a common man on submission to our rulers (read all powerful politicians and even more powerful bureaucrats) finds its way to dustbin in a matter of minutes. It is no different in real life also. But by God’s grace, nothing sort of that happened to our demands submitted to the State Forest Dept. There are one or two honest officers still alive and kicking in the decayed corrupt system. May be the presence of these tribe who are on the verge of extinction (endangered species of course) are the reason for the failure of these doomsday/apocalypse predictions like ‘end of Mayan calendar and the end of world on 21st Dec, 2012’. It is a mere coincidence that I happen to publish this article a day before the much hyped doomsday. 
(Pic. courtesy: ecofuture). 
It is a great pleasure to announce that most of our suggestions were favorably considered by the Forest Department of Tamilnadu and found incorporated in the 'TBGP' project. Our heartfelt thanks to Mr.K.Chidambaram.,I.F.S., and Sri.Irulandi., I.F.S., Chief Project Director and Project Director respectively, who head the 'Project Management Unit' of TBGP, for their continuous support in achieving this impressive feat. Some of the suggestions made to them on behalf of farming community are given here: 

1.  Farmers normally don't have the knowledge to select a Tree variety that suits his land's soil type and water quality. Under the existing scheme, he is planting whatever variety he is getting from the Dept.of Forests. Due to wrong selection or supply, plant mortality is high at the field in the initial months itself. So before effecting supplies, the Dept. should take soil tests and water analysis tests in the identified farm land and should suggest to the farmer, suitable crops and the necessary cultivation techniques.

2.    At present 'Drip irrigation subsidy' is not available for the cultivation of Trees. It is sad to note here that our Govt.rules and Acts not spared even border crops that act as fencing or as wind breakers to the farmer's field. More area will be brought under tree cultivation if the Govt, permits 'Drip irrigation subsidy' for tree crops. This is surely a short cut way to increase our country's green cover.

3. More number of Pamphlets and brochures with details of tree varieties, cultivation techniques, their maturity, preferable soil types Etc. should be released by the Forest Department for the farmer's benefit. 

4. It is advisable to provide plants of various types with different maturity periods (short, medium and long duration varieties) to the marginal farmers instead of a single variety there by assuring him of a regular income.

5. Maximum ceiling level ( number of plants) for Bulk plantings should be removed. 

6. Incentives for the tree growers may be increased to 3 years for short term tree crops and 5 years for long gestation tree crops. It is better to release the incentive amount at the end of the year, after seeing the results, instead of at the year beginning as is the case now.

7. It is not possible to raise the required number of plants and all the varieties in the nurseries of Forest Department alone. So, we should entrust this work to interested individual farmers, NGOs and SHGs. The planning should be in such a way, so that only plants identified for that particular village are allowed to cultivate in the nursery. By this way the farmer can avoid the huge transportation costs, and he is free to take delivery of the plants whenever he feels that climatic conditions are favorable for planting.

8. In continuation of the above, the farmer who is willing to establish a nursery exclusively for timber plants may require bank finance. So, a recommendation letter from the Forest department to the concerned banker to the effect that the farmer is a technically qualified person in the nursery keeping and the buy-back of the raised plants from the nursery by the Dept is guaranteed.

9. Farmers who are willing to do Agro forestry but have lands in rain fed areas and drought prone areas usually don’t come forward due to the high cost of land development expenses. We should help them by providing subsidies in leveling the field, to form bunds and to create structures for rain water conservation.

10. The tree crops raised under ‘TCPL’ scheme (Tree Cultivation in Private Lands)  should be allowed to cut on maturity. These scheduled timbers should be allowed for transportation after sale and the Dept. should issue “No Objection Certificate”.

11. The Govt. should give importance and priority to “Agro-forestry” also, like the encouragement it gives to Horticulture and Spice crops. This can be done by enacting laws and by providing adequate funds to enhance acreage, coverage and productivity of timber crops so that farmers can be weaned away from water consuming traditional crops there by assuring them of appropriate returns. 

Before concluding this post, I want to share this rather sad information: 
This year under 'TBGP' project about 1 Crore tree seedlings were raised at various forest nurseries and kept ready for free distribution to farmers at the onset of monsoon. But, due to total failure of both South west and North east monsoons in Tamilnadu, the authorities could not able to move even 50% of the raised seedlings to the identified beneficiaries. 

 "Man proposes, God disposes". 

May be man proposes only disposables.

(Pic.courtesy: multiwood).
For Tirunelveli District Tree and Medicinal Plants Growers Association
A.Vishnu Sankar,

6 Comentários:

Ganesan RP said...

Good effort Mr. Vishnu shanker

Ganesan RP said...

Very nice,

Yes, Govt shall pay Rs 5000 per acre if the land is covered with tree in dry land area. Please note it benefits the people & Planet

Irulandi said...

Dear Mr. Vishnu Shankar,

we have seen your comments made on TCPL Component of TBGP project. Necessary actions are being taken to implement the TCPL Component in better manner at our level. Thanks for your observation made on the TBGP project.

With regards,

V. Irulandi, I.F.S.,
Chief Conservator of Forest (CDM) &
Project Director (TCPL), TBGP

VishnuM said...

Hello Mr Vishnu Shankar,

I have planted Melia Dubia and an avid follower of your blog. Its a coincidence that my name is Vishnu too :). I require some clarification from you in this post. Can you please explain more the 5th point. Maximum ceiling level ( number of plants) for Bulk plantings should be removed. Is there some limit (no of trees) beyond which an individual cannot grow trees


Vishnu Sankar A said...

Dear friend,

The restriction is to the beneficiary of the scheme and not to any individual who wish to plant trees.

Vishnu Sankar.

A&T said...

Dear Mr.Vishnu Sankar, Appreciate your efforts,
thanks for sharing

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