State Forest Department has decided to give a boost to the agriculture activities of tribals living in forest areas to improve their socio-economic conditions.

District Forest Officer I. Anwardeen told The Hindu said the agriculture activities were being revived in a number of tribal hamlets in the six ranges of the Coimbatore division depending on availability of water resources.

More than 150 acres of tribal hamlet lands in 22 settlements, including Manaar, Gethekadu, Kodiyur, Sethumadai, Veerakal, Korapathy, Neeradi, Baralikadu and Sirukinaru have come under the revival plan, said Karamadai Range Officer L. Desappan.

Farmers were at present cultivating cowpea, ash guard, plantains and to a small extent hill area vegetables in these lands, Mr. Desappan said.

Windmill

An aero generated windmill had been erected in Veerakal and Getihaikadu tribal villages to pump water from an existing borewell for drinking water and agriculture purposes.

A diesel engine along with 300 m hose was supplied to Veerakal village for agricultural use.

A kerosene engine was supplied to Poochamarathur village and a diesel engine to Gethaikadu village for agriculture purpose.

The department through agriculture and other income generation schemes was trying to improve the tribals' social status and economic conditions to get them involved in conservation activities and wean them away from the plunderers of forest wealth who exploited the tribals, Mr. Anwardeen said.

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