As part of Afforestation activities in temperate regions of Jammu & Kashmir, the Department of Social Forestry has given a widespread start to plantation activities across various districts of valley.The PCCF/Director, Department of Social Forestry, Roshan Jaggi in last one week visited various districts of Kashmir valley to give start to the plantation activities involving Gram Panchayats, Educational Institutions, Village Panchayat (Plantation) Committees, NGOs, local people and Govt. Organizations like Police/Army etc.
Interacting with PRIs and local people at Kupwara, Baramulla, Pulwama and Anantnag, Jaggi informed that the Department will take up more than 12 lakh planation on community/panchayat fringe and degraded forest lands in the current winter season and about 925 Villages are expected to be get benefitted with these activities.
He disclosed that this year department has decided to complete substantial quantity of plantation targets before “Chilla Kalan” spell during which temperature drops substantially and planation activities are withheld till March.
Timely rains this year have provided enough soil moisture which is conducive for plantation activities in colder regions of J&K.Official spokesperson informed that the Department is laying focus on augmenting the production of plantable grasses and leaf fodder by raising silvi-pasture units to make available good quality fodder free of cost to local people, which has an important role to strengthen rural economy.
10 Lakh indigenous good quality fodder plants are being planted up in Jammu and Kashmir regions, besides some improved varieties of fodder grasses in collaboration with National Fodder Institute (IGFRI), Jhansi.
One such silvi pasture unit was taken at Goorinar Palhalan (Pattan), Baramulla wherein large-scale planation activity was taken up on 24th November, 2022 led by Director, Social Forestry himself.Another thrust area of Social Forestry Department is to modernize the nurseries to have sufficient production of quality planting stocks like clonal poplar, Eucalyptus, Bamboo, Fodder and Fuelwood, fast growing plants and also medicinal plants.
Improved clonal fast growing male poplar saplings are being distributed to local farmers under Farm Forestry Component to sustain the supply of quality raw-material to industries of plywood/ plyboard, pencil etc.
These initiatives are aimed at increasing income of farmers.Under Har Gaon Haryali, Department is extending its activities to about 1602 villages during this year and Gram Panchayats, and local people and field staff functionaries are actively involved to take up plantations in each such village alongwith distribution of plants, seeds, seedballs amongst the farmers, students and other stake holders.
The Department had also organized a grand interaction with PRI representatives in which DDC/BDC members, Sarpanches and Panches besides local people participated and fruitful discussion took place to strengthen the activities of the department regarding creating more and more durable assets in Gram Panchayats which would yield financial returns.
75 percent proceeds from mature plantations go to Gram Panchayat Fund. The official spokes person further disclosed that during 2021 and 2022 more than 60 Gram Panchayats have received an amount of Rs. 350.00 lakh as part of 75 percent share from the harvesting of mature plantations in their respective panchayats, which is generating healthy competition amongst Panchayats to raise more and more plantations on vacant lands.
The Department as part of its holistic approach, this year has laid stress on rain water harvesting measures to augment ground water recharge which is vital for promoting natural regeneration, biomass and agricultural productivity, besides meeting drinking water requirement of locals.
During current year, 56 water harvesting ponds, 2619 percolation pits and 202748 plantation trenches are being taken up under this initiative especially in water stressed areas like Kathua, Jammu, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Mendhar and Reasi.