Punjab to distribute 10 lakh seedlings

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Chandigarh, Nov 9 (UNI) To boost agro-forestry in Punjab, the forest department would distribute 10 lakh seedlings of fast-growing and economically important tree species such as Eucalyptus, Shisham and Drek.

Stating this here today, Forest Minister Tikshan Sud said that to achieve the target of 15 per cent forest cover in the state by the year 2011, Punjab Forest Department has decided to adopt a new scientific clonal technology for mass production of seedlings required for the agro-forestry operations in the state.

To produce these seedlings the department has established high-tech mist chambers at Hoshairpur, Gurdaspur, Amrtisar, Ropar Moga, Phillour and Bathinda that would be used to produce quality seedlings to be distributed to the farmers for planting in their fields at subsidised rates besides to be used for departmental plantation to enhance productivity.

The Forest Minister said that the clonal technology had been adopted by the Punjab Forest Department as it increases productivity of seedlings fourfold as compared to traditional method.

He said that the growing of clonal trees would not only increase the income of the farmers from land under the agro-forestry systems, but would also help to diversify the land use.

He said that with the increase in productivity through clonal plantations Punjab would have surplus wood to attract mega wood-based industries such as paper, pulp and plywood.

Efforts were also afoot to involve the farmers in the campaign for clonal tree planting and the Department was expected to supply sufficient number of clonal seedlings in coming years from forest nurseries situated in different parts of the State, Mr Sud added.

UNI PS JS1858

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