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Current Affairs

Aerial seeding in Aravalli

Date: 31 July 2020 Tags: Forests

Issue

The Haryana Forest Department has started aerial seeding across the state on a pilot basis, with the drive touching the Aravalli region of Faridabad district.

 

Background

Before Faridabad, this method has been put to use in Yamunanagar and Mahendragarh earlier this month. Plantation on 100 acres will be undertaken using this method during the pilot project.

 

Details

  • This technique will allow plantation in sections of the Aravallis that are either difficult to access or inaccessible altogether, and the pilot project will help determine the effectiveness of the technology and the dispersal mechanism.

  • Aerial seeding is a technique of plantation wherein seed balls – seeds covered with a mixture of clay, compost, char, and other components – are sprayed on the ground using aerial devices, including planes, helicopters or drones.

  • These pellets will then sprout when there is enough rain, with the nutrients present within them helping in the initial growth.

  • The species selected have to be native to the area and hardy, with seeds that are of an appropriate size for preparing seed balls and have to have a higher survival percentage.

 

Advantages of aerial seeding

  • Areas that are inaccessible, have steep slopes, are fragmented or disconnected with no forest routes, making conventional plantation difficult, can be targeted with aerial seeding.

  • Furthermore, the process of the seed’s germination and growth is such that it requires no attention after it is dispersed – the reason why seed pellets are known as the “fire and forget” way of the plantation.

  • They eliminate the need for ploughing and digging holes in the soil and the seeds do not need to be planted, since they are already surrounded by soil, nutrients, and microorganisms.

  • The clay shell of these pellets along with the other items in the mixture also protects them from birds, ants, and rats.