Farmers urged to grow medicinal value plants

SDFO says they have also grown fruit plants for farmers to grow their own orchards

APP August 22, 2021


The forest department is encouraging the farmers, educational institutions and citizens to grow medicinal values plants, said Sub Divisional Forest Officer (SDFO) Muhammad Shakeel.

“Our nursery has also grown local species and moringa plants. We would also distribute 20,000 ornamental plants among the educational institutions that would be planted in the schools, colleges,” he added.

The forest department’s nurseries are providing many saplings of different species for plantation in the region, he said, adding that besides plantation of pine and other local species we have also raised 25,000 fruit plants for farmers to grow their own orchards in district Abbottabad where Loquat, Peach, Apple, Plum, and Pomegranate are ready to distribute.

On the other hand, Chief Conservative Officer Hazara circle Murtaza Shah said that both sides of Hazara Expressway at various places were barren because of the construction of road and chopping the trees by the timber mafia, however, our teams selected three sites and started plantation with the help of locals and successfully converted badland into a lush green forest.

On Pawa badland Hazara Expressway, during 2020, the forest department has planted 48,000 saplings where the success rate remained 90%.

Similarly, in 2021 monsoon plantation drive, 147,500 saplings were planted on an area of 50 hectares with a success ratio of 86% at Shahkot badland, he said.

Shah stated that following the directives of the provincial and federal government, we had selected the hilly areas that were on the brink of collapse and land sliding was a huge issue, giving the example of the three plantation sites on the Hazara Expressway. “We used natural soil-filled biodegradable bags those where we used seeds, cuttings and plants.” He said.

The officer said that the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami drive would change the fate of the country. Earlier, the forest restoration campaign was launched in KP under the administration of the PTI government, where according to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) audit, the project was a success.

Around 872.3 million seedlings were planted, with an average survival rate of almost 89 percent, the drive finished ahead of its schedule and grew the province’s forests by 350,000 hectares, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2021.


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