Seed balls experiment converts Khanpur forest into dense plantation

PESHAWAR    -   The experiment of throwing seed balls in unattended reserve forests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has helped in rehabilitation of forest in Khanpur area, converting the area into  dense plantation.

“The seed balls were thrown in reserved forests of Khanpur area at Haripur district in September 2023 and results are very encouraging,” informed Tariq Shah, a high ranking official of Forest department here Sunday.

The Forest Department had distributed around 500,000 seed balls in unattended hilly forests of Haripur out of which majority of seeds grew into plants and finally as trees, Tariq shared with APP.

He said this is for the first time seed balls experiment was undertaken by Forest Department and the exercise will be replicated in other areas after assessment of results. The objective of this trial base initiative is increasing green cover in the province through growing plants on fast pace, he said.

The project, he continued, has been launched because of keen interest of Secretary Forest who is now considering to launch the initiative as a project for increasing green cover in the province.

Tariq Shah said areas like Chitral, Kaghan, Naran and some locations in Malakand division are very suitable for seed ball plantation.

Even, he continued, through use of valuable seeds, plantation can be achieved at dry terrain of Landi Kotal mountain range. He also claimed 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 Rs1500 while plantation and sowing costs around Rs12000 per hectare and is also labour intensive.

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

In Chitral seed balls of precious chalgoza trees will also be added for benefit of locals of the area, he went on to say.  

About taking care of saplings, Tariq Shah said most of the seed balls were sprinkled in those reserve forests where enclosures are made and watch men are hired by Forest Department who are taking care of the newly grown plants.

Tariq expressed the hope that if the experiment of seed balls will turn hundreds of acres of unattended forests and barren mountains into green cover due to low cost of the initiative and its easy execution.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt