Establishing Vegetation in Highly Eroded Lands under Dryland Conditions

KSCST had organised a workshop to evolve a science and technology programme against drought and for development of dry lands in Karnataka, in 1987. At the end of this workshop a science and technology programme was drawn up, identifying specific areas requiring research and development efforts on a priority basis. This project deals with one such area related to the productive use of semi-arid wastelands.

Three fourths of the arable and non-arable land area in Karnataka fall in the category about 2 million ha. of land has been classified as barren and uncultivable forming nearly 10% of the area in all districts. Further 2 million ha of land treated as permanent pastures and miscellaneous groves are under-utilised. Latest reports indicate that the plant density is far from satisfactory even in forest lands (about 3 million ha). The demand for biomass based fuel, fodder and timber is constantly on the increase but the rate, extent and success of planting are not keeping pace with it. Since conventional afforestation techniques are not adequate to meet this situation, there is a need to develop a complete package of technology, including selection of suitable species and methods of planting to upgrade biomass productivity of wastelands and to control errosion. Hence the project on 'Establishing Vegetation in highly eroded lands under dry land conditions' was initiated.

Dry land Agriculture

Highly eroded wastelands in the watershed were surveyed for native flora. In all about 50 species were identified and the specimens are preserved in a herbarioum at the Operational Research Project office.

To identify land treatment suitable for different species, seven silva species were subjected to seven different types of land treatment. the species Graveliz robusta, Eucalyptus hybrid, Casurina equistifolia, Silanthus mulberica, Inga delcia, Acacia auriculiformis and Dalbergia sisso were planted in main plots.