SOCIAL FORESTRY - சமூகக்காடுகள்

1.Tree cultivation in Private lands:

In order to encourage tree cultivation outside forests, 'Tree cultivation in Private Lands' was implemented in the State from 2007-08 to 2011-12. This is a  first effort of its kind in the country. It was implemented by carrying out block planting and inter-crop plantingwith profitable tree species like Teak, Casuarina, Ailanthus,Silver Oak,,Meliadubia etc. in the farmers lands and free supply of profitable tree species for planting in the bunds.   An area of 1,61,110 Acres has been planted with 5.45 lakhs tree seedlings in the land of farmers outside reserve forests and 84099 persons have benefited. An amount of Rs. 1625 lakhs was paid as incentives.

2.Tank Foreshore Plantations

Tamil Nadu Forest Department has  implemented the Social Forestry Project with the financial assistance from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sweden.  Raising karuvel trees in the tanks and tank foreshores is the major activity under this scheme. Mature karuvel trees are harvested at a rotation cycle of 10 years. The tank foreshore plantations have been a major source of firewood in Tamil Nadu .The mature plantation are sold in public auction. The sale proceeds from plantations raised  inpanchayat tanks  are shared between respectivepanchayats and the government in 75:25 ratio.

3. Forestry Extension

According to the National Forest Policy 1988 at least one-third of the total geographical area of the country should be under tree / forest cover to improve the  eco-system.  As there is little scope to increase forest area, thrust has been given to increase tree /forest cover outside forests.  It is imperative to expand our tree resources outside the natural forest area to meet the ever-increasing demand of the forest produce.  Hence, in order to encourage tree growing among public, forestry extension schemes are under implementation.

            The 32 Forestry extension centres provide technical support for tree growing in rural  in Tamil Nadu. These centres provide quality tree seedlings like Thornless bamboo, Casuarina, Teak, Neem, Melia dubia, grafted Tamarind and Nelli, etc. to the farmers.  These seedlings were planted in private lands.  These lands have become demonstration plots.  During 2012-13, forestry extension wing was trifurcated  into three regions viz. Chennai (North), Salem (Central) and Madurai (South) functioning under the control of three Chief Conservator of Forests.

Objectives of forestry extension

  • To increase tree cover to 33% of total geographical area of Tamil Nadu.
  • To increase the tree cover in urban and rural areas by massive tree planting to mitigate the pollution.
  • Planting suitable tree medicinal, fodder species etc. to increase the productivity of wasteland, marginal lands, community lands, etc.
  • To create awareness among the public especially youth and school children about the values and importance of tree forest.
  • Tree growing activities to generate employment opportunities in the rural areas.

Trainings were imparted on tree growing, importance of vermi-compost and bio-nutrients in tree growing, raising fodder species as inter-crops, medicinal plants, vermi-compost production through all forestry extension centres.

Major activities of Forestry Extension Centres

  • Training on tree growing
  • Publicity and propaganda regarding tree growing.
  • Formation of demonstration plots
  • Raising and supply of seedlings on subsidy
  • Awareness creation among school children and youth about the importance of forests through training and camps

Moreover, notices and brochures containing the details related to tree growing have been distributed to the public.  Publicity boards with the details related to tree growing have been also prepared and installed in highways to create awareness among the public about tree growing.

Demonstration plots in farmer's lands

Demonstration plots were formed in the lands of 2725progressive farmers over an area of 1903 ha. with tree species like, teak, casuarinas, bamboo, jack, neem, paradise tree, etc. From 2000-2001 to 2015-16.

Year Area(in ha.) Farmers involved
2000-01 112 214
2001-02 65 154
2002-03 60 137
2003-04 60 159
2004-05 0 0
2005-06 141 260
2006-07 145 204
2007-08 146 219
2008-09 145 184
2009-10 145 152
2010-11 145 260
2011-12 145 210
2012-13 145 195
2013-14 232 189
2014-15 217 188
2015-16 0 0
Total 1903 2725

More farmers are coming forward to take tree growing activities in their lands because of these demonstration plots formation.