KADAPA: A mini Miyawaki forest has been grown over 10 acres of land on the Yogi Vemana University campus by its botany department in just nine months utilising funds from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).
With the initiative of Kadapa district social forestry department, saplings of red sandal, bustard teak, Indian gooseberry, Arjuna (maddi), pongam, sacred fig, parijatam, Indian rosewood, pomegranate, guava, and so on, have grown very quickly, creating a pleasant atmosphere within the university.
The Miyawaki method of afforestation was introduced by the Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki to grow forests double-quick. It is designed to prevent air pollution by growing more plants in a small area for generating oxygen. The plantation on Yogi Vemana University campus, stated to be the largest in the country, was taken up by its botany department in December 2019 in collaboration with the social forestry department.
The project benefited labour too by wages amounting to `70 lakh under the MNREGS. Saplings have been planted over an extent of 10 acres with vermi compost, cow dung and urine mixture, cocoa peat, and organic fertilisers. A separate bore well was drilled specifically to water this forest. It has delivered excellent results within just nine months.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, divisional forest officer (social forestry) Bondala Nagaraju said that 1.06 lakh saplings have been planted by the department. The soil is salty. As many as 200 trenches were dug and 532 seedlings planted in each trench. In just nine months, the plants have grown into thick vegetation, where biodiversity is thriving.
Vice Chancellor Munagala Surya Kalavati said that the university has a total of two lakh plants including those cultivated under the Miyawaki method. This is providing plenty of oxygen for students on the campus. Madhusudan Reddy, an assistant professor with the university’s botany department, said 25–30 varieties of plants have been planted here. Some of the plants have already grown to a height of 10 feet.