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Himachal Pradesh Start Seabuckthorn Plantations – Free PDF Download


 

  • The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to start planting seabuckthorn in the cold desert areas of the state this year
  • Seabuckthorn is a shrub which produces an orange-yellow coloured edible berry.
  • In India, it is found above the tree line in the Himalayan region, generally in dry areas such as the cold deserts of Ladakh and Spiti.
  • In Himachal Pradesh, it is locally called chharma and grows in the wild in Lahaul and Spiti and parts of Kinnaur.
  • Around 15,000 hectares in Himachal, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are covered by this plant.
  • In Himachal Pradesh, the cold deserts, comprising about 42% of total geographical area of the state, occur in districts of Lahaul-Spiti, upper parts of Chamba and Kinnaur.
  • The region is characterized by
  1. extreme climatic conditions
  2. high rates of soil erosion
  3. land slides
  4. shortage of fuel wood, timber and fodder
  5. low productivity of agricultural lands
  6. sparse vegetation
  7. lack of job opportunities
  • The past efforts of afforestation by poplar and willow trees in the region have met only mixed successes for the want of a multipurpose plant species that can simultaneously satisfy the long term conservation as well as the short term economic needs of the people.
  • Seabuckthorn meets above requirements of short term economic needs of the people and long term environmental conservation
  • Besides being an important source of fuelwood and fodder, seabuckthorn is a soil-binding plant which prevents soil-erosion, checks siltation in rivers and helps preserve floral biodiversity.
  • Fruit of this plant is quite rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, E and K, protein, organic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids and steroids, which have been used in countries like Russia, Mongolia and China for the production of several medicines, cosmetics and food products.
  • It can help troops in acclimatising to high-altitude
  • High commercial value, as it is used in making juices, jams, nutritional capsules etc

 

Challenges

  • Low fruit collection in natural forests
  • Low fruit yield
  • lack of cultivation, harvesting and post harvesting technologies
  • Exploitation of farmers by trader
  • Lack of market assurance
  • Seabuckthorn’s lack of popularity in other states

Opportunities

  • There are huge marginal lands (e.g. 6000 ha in Lahaul alone) lying in the Lahaul-Spiti.
  • Therefore, there is a need to raise high yielding seabuckthorn plantations on these marginal lands, involving local people and developmental agencies.
  • There is also a need for the standardization and application of better agro-techniques (appropriate spacing, pruning, nutritional needs and weeding etc.), which will increase fruit yield several folds.
  • Further, there is also a need for the standardization of integrated pests and diseases management methods to minimize the loss in the potential crop.

 
 

 

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