Tree plantation can be done on farmland under MGNREGA –Mungantiwar

Mumbai:Forest Minister Mr Sudhir Mungantiwar today said that tree plantation with the help of social Forestry branch of Forest Department can be done in the farm lands and near farm pond under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) .He said that the government decision had been taken on April 12th in this regard.

Mr Mungantiwar further said that the decision had been passed by planning department of employment guarantee scheme. Under this, the scheduled caste(SC), scheduled tribes(ST), Nomadic tribes and Vimukta Jati(VJNT), below poverty line (BPL)beneficiaries, women headed families, physically handicapped person headed families, beneficiaries of Land Reforms, beneficiaries of Indira Awas scheme and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (recognition of forest rights Act 2006) (2007) section 2, were given the benefit and now small landowners and marginal land owner farmers can plant the tree in the farm land. The government decision also had guidelines about the selection procedure of beneficiaries and their eligibility for the above benefits.

Trees to be planted in farm land and near farm pond

The plants that are to be planted in the farming land and near farm Ponds include Teak wood, sandalwood, Khaya, bamboo, Nee,, charoli, mahogany, Amla, Hirda, Behda, Arjun, custard apple, tamarind, Jamun, Acacia (Babul), Anjan, Biba, khair, mango, cashew nut (Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg district), pineapple, Taad, shindig, Suru, Shivan, Shevga, hadga, Kari Patta, Marukh, majium, melia, dubia and other similar types of trees.

The rates of the saplings had also been decided by the government and are made available. The duration for tree plantation will be from 1 June to 30th November and the planning is to be made by the social Forestry department.

Grant for scheme

The condition for the grant states that for the second and third year of cultivating land at least 90% of the trees are required to be saved and grown whereas for dry land farming 75% trees are to be kept live so that they will get the Grand for second and 3rd year.

Advisory Committee

The committee will be constituted at Taluka level with sub divisional officer (provincial officer) heading the committee and it will recommend the decision about tree plantation.

Priority for making saplings available

For making the saplings available for tree plantations, some priorities are declared as guidelines. Under this, the nursery from social forestry, Forest Department or other government department nursery, nurseries of Agricultural department, nurseries from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, nurseries of Gram Panchayat, agricultural universities, Government approved private nurseries, tissue culture, agricultural commissioner certified clone nurseries, Private nurseries approved by Forest Department will be given priority.

The social Forestry department will be maintaining the account and Statistics about the tree plantation under MGNREGA and a copy of this record will be handed over to the tahsildar. The plantation under MGNREGA would help make green cover more and more due to tree plantation in the farm land and near farm Ponds. Similarly, the income of farmers will also be raised and more opportunities of employment can be made available said Mr Mungantiwar.