District administration has given 40 hectares of wasteland to women self-help groups
TIRUCHI: The need to increase the tree cover outside the natural forest area by planting trees in uncultivated lands was emphasised to farmers by speakers during the `Vriksha Mela' organised at the Forestry Extension Centre at M.R. Palayam in Tiruchi district on Saturday.
The farmers could take the assistance of the Forestry Extension Centre mandated to transfer improved technology of tree husbandry to farmland, and plant suitable trees on wastelands, which would be profitable to them besides increasing the productivity of the wastelands.
Participating in the `mela', Collector K. Nanda Kishore called upon the farmers with small holdings to come together and form a tree growers society which would help in marketing timber after harvest.
The district administration had given 30 to 40 hectares of wasteland to women self-help groups to develop the lands. Likewise, the farmers could also form tree growers society and choose the wastelands belonging to them to raise trees.
He assured the farmers of all help from the district administration if they came forward and formed the society.
Emphasising the need to increase the tree cover, the District Forest Officer, Tiruchi, K.V. Giridhar, said the present natural forests should be conserved for the eco-system services they provide to the mankind. Expansion of tree resources outside the natural forest area was imperative in the present times by popularising tree cultivation among the people.
Prior to planting trees, the farmers should examine the suitability, he said while calling upon them to take the assistance of the forestry extension centre in this regard.
The farmers would be able to market the timber better if they formed the tree growers society, he added.
R. Raja Chidambaram, State secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Sangam, urged forest authorities to advise the farmers on the kind of trees they could grow to earn sustained income.
The District Revenue Officer, P. Senthil Kumar, and the Forest Extension Officer spoke.
Earlier, the farmers were taken around the Forestry Extension Centre and briefed about the facilities available there.