Aerial seeding to increase green cover in aravallis

• Haryana has employed this technique to improve green cover in Aravalli area of Faridabad.

Key highlights:

• Recently, Ecological degradation in the Aravalli region has become an alarming situation due to issues like increasing urbanisation, illegal mining activities, uncontrolled grazing and felling of trees, unfavourable climatic conditions etc.

• Aravalli mountain range spans four states— Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi.

• Aerial seeding is a plantation technique wherein seed balls are sprayed on the pre-determined location using aerial devices, including planes, helicopters or drones.

• These pellets sprout when there is enough rain, with nutrients present within them helping in
initial growth.

• Seed balls are seeds covered with a mixture of clay, compost, char and other components.

Advantages:

• It is practiced in areas that are either difficult to reach or inaccessible altogether, where traditional methods of plantation are difficult.

• They eliminate any need for ploughing and digging holes in the soil and do not need to be planted since they are already surrounded by soil, nutrients, and microorganisms.

• The clay shell also protects seeds from birds, ants and rats.

What kind of species can be dispersed?

• Those native to the area and hardy, with seeds that are of an appropriate size for preparing seedballs, with a higher survival percentage.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment

Prelims level: Aerial seeding

Mains level: Highlights the major advantages of the Aerial seeding

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