Live fencing
Live fencing

Live fencing

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In recent years, with the development of new colonies and slums around the farm area of the Institute, entry of stray cattle and unwanted elements had become a regular feature, resulting in loss of farm's technical resources. A boundary wall to prevent such entries was made but it was broken at various places by unsocial elements and protection of the farm area from intruders was a big challenge. Under such circumstances a concept of live fencing emerged out. According to the world Agro Forestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya live fencing is rows of trees and shrubs grown on the boundaries of farm to protect it from cattle and wild animals. Various kinds of plant species like Bamboo, Sunhamp, Hill tamarind, Subabul (Leucaena leucocephala) and other thorny species are selected for live fencing. The roots of these species do not go very deep and hold the soil tightly by which soil erosion is reduced. Bio-mass, generation, wind break, soil enrichment, food for honeybees etc. are some extra benefits obtained from live fencing.
WALMI, Bhopal undertook a new intervention in this regard and selected Bougain Villea species as live fencing material. The nutrient and water requirement of Bougain Villea is very less and cattle do not use it as their feeding material. About 2.5 kms. of farm boundary, where boundary wall is not constructed, was planted with Bougain Villea in 3-4 rows with a close spacing of 30 cm.

Benefits to the Institute :

• This new intervention of WALMI is not only economical but it is also eco-friendly.
• Estimated cost of concrete boundary wall was about Rs. 2500-3000/- per meter, while this live fencing was done @ Rs. 500/- per meter.
• The nutrient, irrigation and other maintenance requirement of Bougain Villea is very low thus recurring expenditures are also very less.
• Cattle do not use it as feeding material hence damages by cattle to the fencing are very less.
• The technique is purely organic in nature.
• Locally available materials can be use for cost cutting.
• It is very effective soil conservation measure in sloppy areas.
• While concrete wall reduces the infiltration of rain water/runoff into the soil, the fencing with Bougain Villea helps in ground water recharging.
• Leaves, flowers and wood of Bougain Villea has no use thus least damage occurs to its plantation.
• The thorns of Bougain Villea are poisonous in nature, which helps in restricting the unwanted entries of stray cattle & humans.
• It is a perennial plant hence useful throughout the year.
• Different shapes can be made in plantation of closely spaced Bougain Villea for beautification.
• In summer its flowers create a beautiful scenario.
• Bougain Villea is not self propagating species, hence it does not spread in other areas.

If the technologies of live fencing using Bougain Villea is adopted in other government/ non-government organizations for security, then not only huge cost curtailment can be made in comparison to concrete walls, but it will increase the opportunity of rainwater/ runoff in percolating into the soil thereby helping in ground water recharge.