A million fruit trees to be planted on World Environment Day in Garo Hills

TURA: Garo Hills based non-governmental organization BAKDIL is planning to plant a million fruit tree saplings with the help of hundreds of women self help groups of the region during celebration of World Environment day which is taking place on Friday, this week.

The mass tree plantation will coincide with the launch of the Integrated Tribal Development Project, funded by NABARD, for augmenting the livelihood security of 200 families in 14 villages under Rongram Development Block, on the same day.

“BAKDIL is facilitating the plantation of one million trees in different parts of Garo Hills and all the saplings being provided to the SHGs are those of fruit bearing variety which will benefit the villagers once the tree yields produce. We have planted over one lakh different varieties of fruit trees over the last six years in the Garo Hills and this year we are laying emphasis on jackfruit and mango tree saplings,” informed BAKDIL director Fr. Sunny Mavelil.

Tura MP Agatha K Sangma and North Tura MLA Thomas A Sangma are scheduled to attend the special event alongside Auxiliary Bishop of Tura C J Jose at Kemragre village where the first fruit tree saplings will be planted to mark the start of the mass tree plantation. Top NABARD officials from Shillong are also attending the programme.

It is worth mentioning that environmentalists have raised concern over the widespread plantations of arecanut by farmers all across the Garo Hills region. For the farmers it is a quick revenue generating cash crop, whereas, for agriculturists and crop scientists it is setting a dangerous ecological imbalance that could result in soil degradation and wipe out entire species of indigenous varieties of trees as more and more forest cover is cleared for arecanut plantations.

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