Seed balls thrown in unattended reserve forest in Haripur

Peshawar   –  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forest Department has for the first time thrown seed balls in unattended reserve forest of Khanpur at Haripur district with the objective of increasing green cover in the province through growing plants on fast pace.

“This is a pilot project starting from distribution of 500,000 seed balls and will be replicated in other areas especially barren mountains after evaluating results of the initiative,” said Deputy Conservator of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forest Department Tariq Shah.

Tariq said that Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) is extending support to Forest Department in launching and execution of the project.

The project, he continued, has been launched due to the keen interest of Secretary Forest KP Islam Zeb, who is fully focusing on making the ongoing flagship programme of Ten Billion Tree Afforestation Project as successful.

He said within a period of fortnight the seed balls distribution will show results and on the basis of its success an additional number of 4.5 million balls will be thrown in different areas of KP.

He said that seed ball distribution is much economical and cost effective than planting of sapling. The cost of seed ball distribution per hectare is estimated at around Rs1000 while plantation and sowing cost around Rs12000 per hectare and is also labour intensive.

These balls are of multi-purpose containing seeds of different plant species including acacia, dodonaea, sheesham, cheer pine, polai, grasses etc. The seed balls also contain nutrients and soil and will help in early growing of plants, he added.

About taking cares of saplings, Tariq Shah said most of the seed balls will be sprayed in those reserve forests where enclosures are made and watch-men are hired by Forest Department who will take care of the newly grown plants. Whereas in barren mountains local communities will be engaged in taking care of sapling for initial period of an year, he continued.

Tariq Shah said that seed ball initiative is taken for the first time in KP while the practice has shown very good results in different countries including Brazi and, Eithopia

He expressed the hope about success of the project due to prevailing monsoon season and expected rains within a fortnight. He said there are a lot of unattended forests and barren mountains which if utilised through growing of plants and trees will contribute a lot in government’s ongoing struggle of increasing green cover in the country to reverse environmental degradation.

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