Friday, July 8, 2016

Farmers asked to take up agroforestry

'Hebbavu is alternative for tobacco,' says AC Lakshman, retired forest secretary


AC Lakshman, retired forest secretary gave a call for farmers to grow Hebbevu plants in large, which not only fetch good revenue for farmers, whereas also helps to recharge ground water, and protect environment.  'There is very good demand for Hebbevu tree wood in market. The leaves of Hebbevu can be used for cattle feeding, and woods are considered as one among the top 10 to make furniture, interior designs,' he adds.

'An average by growing ten trees for five-six years farmer will get a minimum of Rs 10,000 per tree. With state reeling under drought, farmers can grow Hebbevu and change their economic condition. Farmers in large are growing the plant in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh,' he added.

Stating Hebbavu is alternative for tobacco, he said that farmers can earn more through Hebbavu plantation, than what they earn in tobacco cultivation. 'The major benefit of growing the plants is the roots have good water holding capacity, and helps to ground water recharge. By taking Hebbavu plantation in large we can over come drought gradually,' he opined.

Farmer Basavegowda said: 'The Hebbevu are fastest growing tree, compared to bamboo. Farmers can fetch good money within a span of six years. With value addition for the wood, there is a new ray of hope. Earlier was growing tobacco in 2.5 acres of land, and now have planted nearly 600 Hebbavu in the land, worth Rs nearly 70 lakhs.'

DFO Balachandra said that with quite a good number of farmers are showing interest to grow Hebbavu, slowly foreign export is catching up.

Toys out of Hebbavu
Here comes the good news for Channapatna toy makers. With non availability of Aale Mara (ivory wood) the artisans who were facing hardship to continue in the indigenous wood toy making work can now relax.
The Forest department officials are supplying wood of Hebbevu (Melia Dubia), which is similar to teak quality. By adding value addition to the Heebevu the farmers will also get good money, and the Channapatna toys to get reviewed again. This will create employment, revenue for farmers, and a protection of traditional toy work, say officials.


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