Developing Walmiyawaki Forest in One Year
Madhya Pradesh Water and Land Management Institute, Bhopal is the state's premier training institute in the field of natural resource management. Various innovative efforts have been made by the institute for environment protection, conservation, enhancement and management.
While working on the same line, an effort was made to develop forest at low cost, less time and less space, by modifying Miyawaki technique of plantation. Miyawaki is a technique pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps to build dense native forests at a faster rate.
The technical staff of WALMI, Bhopal was given training on Miyawaki technique of plantation and then by way of using local resources and changing nutrient supplier, perforators and water retainer WALMI, Bhopal conducted various experiments in 7 replicas at the demonstration farm. The results were very encouraging and plant growth was better in comparison to original Miyawaki technique. The Institute named it “Walmiyawaki” technique of plantation.
Demonstration farm of the institute has varied land capability classes with slopes ranging from 1 per cent to 30 per cent. Depending upon the class of lands, they are being used for silvi pasture, orchards, field crops etc. As the slopes are steep, hence speedy runoff in rainy season causes soil erosion. Various soil and water conservation measures are adopted and demonstrated in farm lands. In the pilot project of developing dense forest by modified Miyawaki technique, the plantation work was also done on contour strips to reduce the soil erosion.
Dense afforestation technique
A pilot project of dense afforestation technology was launched in the demonstration farm area. After site selection, initial soil survey and soil testing was carried out. 3 meter wide and 45 meter long strips were demarcated and excavated to a depth of 1 meter with JCB machine.
As the technology is totally organic in nature hence biomass in the form of FYM, vermi compost, paddy straw and husk, jeeva amrut, ghana amrut etc. was procured and planting bed was prepared by mixing the soil of excavated strips with this organic material in accordance with the technology.
Selection of native plant species having different growth characters viz. canopy, tree, sub tree and shrub was made and plantation work was carried out by trained staff in August 2018. The plantation work with different species in different proportions was done on random basis so that there should not be any competition for sun light, water, nutrients etc. between the species. The planting density was kept around 3 plants per square meter. Paddy straw was used as mulching material to reduce evaporation losses of water. Seven plots were developed with different input treatments and 42 native forest species.
The results of the project are very encouraging and within 6-8 months plants have attained height up to 10-12 feet with dense canopy formation.
Benefits to the institute:
• Higher growth rate i.e. 10 times faster is obtained as compared to normal conditions.
• Guaranteed height of trees upto 10 to 15 feet in a period of one year, and dense forest in 3 years.
• Water requirement @ 5 liters/per square meter per day for dense forestation is very less as compare to normal plantation.
• Completely organic technique.
• Lower cost requirement due to utilization of local resources.
• Easy and effective technique of water and soil conservation.
• Increased soil fertility is achieved by developing the life cycle of micro-organisms present in the soil.
• Food chains and habitats of insects of different species, birds, vegetarian and carnivorous animals.
• Setting up of suitable ecosystems and maintaining the balance of gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and others present in the atmosphere.
• Growth and development of varieties of medicinal, flowers, fruits and wooden trees and shrubs.
• Development of social and cultural civilization by nature's enhancement and conservation of water, forest and land.
• Great potential for environment protection and conservation in urban areas where vacant lands are available in very small quantity.
Generally, open lands are available in government or private institutions, departments and industrial areas which gradually become dumping yards. It will be a unique effort to conserve environment, if dense afforestation techniques are adopted in such small, open spaces and lands. Further, the runoff water, which rapidly discharges from these areas and also erode the soil, will get an opportunity and time to be absorbed in the ground and recharge ground water aquifers. This small dense forest of different species and varieties will also be a source of medicinal and other useful produce. Beautification of the campus will be an additional benefit. The technology can be very helpful in achieving Government's plan to bring 30 percent of the area under forest cover. If this technology is adopted in a big way, it will be a very effective initiative in terms of environmental protection, enhancement and safety.