Agriculture World

Farmers Should Plant More Trees on Agricultural Land, Urges Union Environment Minister

Kanika Dhamija
Kanika Dhamija
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A sub-mission on agro forestry, under the Ministry of Agriculture, provides 50% subsidy to farmers for plantation.

Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar has urged farmers of the country to plant trees on their lands. He suggested that the timber obtained from the tress could be sold and transported, when ready.

Addressing a virtual meeting with forest ministers of all States and Union Territories, Javadekar said, “Farmers should not fear that their land will become forest land. The land will remain theirs. They can sell the trees when needed and transport them.”

The Union environment ministry had released Rs 47,436 crore to 27 states for compensatory afforestation and other forest conservation work last August. “At least 80% of the compensatory afforestation funds are to be utilized only for afforestation and rest of the 20% can be utilized for capacity and infrastructure development like buildings or vehicles. The money should not be used for payment of salaries, traveling allowances and medical expenses,” he said.

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With the Compensatory Afforestation Fund money available with states, water and fodder augmentation projects will have to be taken up in one forest in each state; afforestation of river banks and floodplains of all major rivers will be taken up; school nurseries will be developed in 2000 schools across the country and urban forestry projects will also be taken up with private participation, he added.

Sanjay Kumar, director general of forests, said there is a sub-mission on agro forestry under the ministry of agriculture which provides 50% subsidy to farmers for plantation. The environment ministry is also considering making common lands accessible to private parties with an arrangement of benefit sharing with locals. “An arrangement has to be developed which is friendly and acceptable to local people because common lands provide various benefits to locals. We have received a number of suggestions and requests on this matter. But it’s a complex matter and the policy is in conceptual stage,” he said.

Source: News agencies

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