COIMBATORE: In an effort to increase green cover, Coimbatore forest division has planted 14 lakh saplings in the past nine years.
According to Coimbatore Forest Division officials, 14.33 lakh saplings were planted under the division between 2012 to 2021.
The saplings were planted under the Tamil Nadu Biodiversity and Conservation Greening Projects and Tree Cultivation on Private Lands.
A senior officer with the Coimbatore forest division while speaking to IANS said, "We have replanted tree saplings in 95 villages in three districts and have planted 14.33 lakh saplings since 2012 to 2021."
He said that long rotation saplings and short rotation saplings were planted, and added that long rotation plantations were done up to 2021 while short rotation plantings were done up to 2013-14. The short rotation plantations can be harvested in seven to eight years.
The officials said that short rotation plantings were harvested by farmers since the past one year and have fetched good returns. Malaivembu, one of the most popular short rotation trees, fetches Rs 4000 to 5000 per tonne.
Forest department officials said that farmers are sending the Malaivembu trees directly to paper making companies and earning good revenue.
The Coimbatore forest division is planning to raise more saplings from the three nurseries in Coimbatore and distribute among the farmers for the second phase of the project.
A forest department official told IANS that on an average a farmer is selling 10 to 15 tonnes of Malaivembu trees to paper factories and getting good returns. Several farmers have requested the forest department to plant Suvakumar tree saplings also as they fetch good money for them.