Green drive Agriculture

Telangana’s Haritha Haram heralds Yadadri method of the green revolution

At NIT Warangal

At NIT Warangal   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

It is July and the monsoon season ushers in Haritha Haram, the annual afforestation drive promoted by the Telangana state government. Presently in its sixth year, Haritha Haram heralds the Yadadri method of planting begun on an experimental basis two years ago. This Yadadri pattern follows the Japanese Miyawaki technique (invented by botanist Akira Miyawaki) of growing urban forests, in a short time and less space. This unique method of afforestation is gaining popularity especially in urban areas which have less green space. “The techniques may be the same, but we have not followed the system blindly. Since our soil and species are different, we have modified the Miyawaki model to suit our conditions,” informs Priyanka Verghese OSD to CM K Chandrashekar Rao adding that the method of plantation trial initially began in Mancherial. The trial and error methods in the last three years have resulted in a Yadadri model, technique and guidance with species and techniques suitable for forest and non-forest areas.

Green cover increases biodiversity

Green cover increases biodiversity   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Mini-forests

The story of the recently inaugurated Tangedu Vanam of Lakkaram village at Chouttuppal mandal in Nalgonda district, began two years ago. Developed on an acre of forest area, this vanam — demarcated from 125 acres of forest area that was cleaned for a traditional plantation of 30,000 forest varieties —followed the Miyawaki method to create a mini-forest with native wild and flower-bearing trees. Multiple steps were followed under constant supervision. District forest officer DV Reddy points out, “Dry and fresh leaves are put on the cleaned area. Soil enrichment is essential before plantation, but existing trees should not be removed during this phase.”

Sitaphal plant

Sitaphal plant   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Only native plants yield good results. The key is to begin with more number of plants in less space — 4000 plants per acre, including the native forest species Vepa (neem), neredu (jamun), ravi, chinta, velaga and sitaphal. With farmyard manure and husk to retain moisture, , the area showed significant results in one year. Elaborates DV Reddy, “Watering plants with tankers and pipe sprinklers instead of flood irrigation is a must till the rainy season. Also, mulching helps in suppressing weed and preventing evaporation. One also has to ensure that huge crown developing tree species are not planted here.”

Close competition

K Purushottam, district forest officer of Warangal district shares, “In a traditional method of planting, branches grow at a distance but here plants are close and compete. Chetla madhya poti untundi sunlight kosam. (plants compete for sunlight). Local species adapt to such factors and survive to grow and form a thick canopy.”

Recalling his experiences of implementing Miyawaki method in NIT Warangal, he says, “Native saplings like Raavi, marri, vepa, rela, chinta and moduga were used. Our work started in August last year and a mini dense forest can already be seen. Besides giving an aesthetic look, biodiversity increases and groundwater recharges in such areas. This method was adapted in NTPC Ramagundam also.”

These green movements initiate healthy ecosystems and attract birds and animals, says retired forest officer Prakash. The 25 native varieties that his team planted on a barren area near Warangal Fort benefited from a nearby lake and have grown up to four and a half feet. “The soil enriches with this native vegetation,” he adds.

Pomegranate tree

Pomegranate tree   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

While these carefully curated plants create green oases in barren lands in less time, the initial steep cost at ₹5.3 lakh per acre poses a challenge. However, Priyanka observes that the traditional method actually incurs more expenditure owing to a three-year maintenance period. “In a traditional method, although one plants less number of seeds, it needs regular ploughing and replanting and even then the canopy cover achieved is not huge. This Miyawaki method is economical as the expenditure is only in the first year and benefits can be seen from the second year itself. The ecological balance sustains and since every canopy is occupied, it appears like a dense jungle, so people are reluctant to touch it..”

Giving an example of Kerala’s home garden concept, Priyanka stresses on initiating this model in open spaces. Instead of random planting, this alternate method will create a dense patch in less time. “Haritha Haram has different components. Besides the creation of an urban forest, our focus is to rejuvenate a natural forest, create avenue plantation and the Yadadri model of dense plantation forest with the patch of land available. It is a concerted combination of different techniques to create more greenery in future.”

Those interested in implementing the Miyawaki model may contact the Haritha Haram wing of the Forest department and receive technical support too.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 7:19:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/telanganas-haritha-haram-heralds-yadadri-method-of-the-green-revolution-based-on-japanese-miyawaki-technique-which-has-been-modified-to-suit-our-native-conditions-and-species/article31962352.ece

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