Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Apr 3: Malhar hi-tech nursery is one of the largest nurseries in Sind Forest Division of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district where thousands of seedlings of both Conifer and Broadleaves besides Kail and Deodar are raised.
The nursery was established in 2009 on a gross area of 6.50 hectares with an effective area of 5.50 hectares under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority act (CAMPA) which promotes afforestation activities.
The nursery has the high plant potential of producing 4 to 4.5 lakh plants per year. These plants are used in afforestation programmes not only across Ganderbal but also in other districts of Jammu & Kashmir.
Besides, it is the only nursery across the union territory that is raising Betula species which is on the verge of extinction.
This nursery has become a source of livelihood for the people living around the area as the department is hiring them to prepare the saplings of various species.
According to the Divisional Forest Officer, this will come up as a model nursery with an interpretation centre and greenhouses in the near future for which a proposal has been forwarded to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
DFO Sindh Forest Division Owais Farooq Mir while talking to KNO said, “This is one of the largest nurseries in our division, and it is the biggest among the present nurseries as per the plant quotation.”
The plants are supplied from different divisions for the afforestation programme, and every year, around 2.5 lakh plants are raised here, Mir said, adding that the conifer plants are kept in the nursery for about 2 to 3 years before they are ready for the afforestation programmes.
The DFO said the plants from this nursery are supplied to the ‘Har Gaon Hariyali’ programme, which distributes them to various panchayats. Additionally, we supply these plants to different parts of Kashmir, such as south and north Kashmir, if they are needed, he said.
“Our usual production is in Conifer plants, such as Deodar, Fir, Juniper among others. Besides these, some endangered species like Betula, commonly known as Burza in Kashmiri, have been raised for the last few years,” the DFO said. (KNO)
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