(GIST OF YOJANA) Developing Natural Forest Cover: A Case Study from Yadadri, Telangana [DECEMBER-2019]

(GIST OF YOJANA)  Developing Natural Forest Cover: A Case Study from Yadadri, Telangana


Developing Natural Forest Cover: A Case Study from Yadadri, Telangana


A systematic approach of forest management to sustain the ecological balance and stability of the forest is gaining momentum in India. Innovative reforestation approaches are explored to increase the forest cover and climate amelioration. So far, no significant scientific study on natural forest restoration has been taken up due to diverse climatic conditions and soil profile in India. With the enthusiasm generated across all sections of the society to plant and protect the saplings planted under ‘Telanganaku Haritha haram,’ a flagship programme of the State to create an entire forest instead of mere plantation. It is also thought that forests that have been cleared in diversion cases can be compensated by creating forests instead of plantation. This leads to exploration of the principles of Professor Akira Miyawaki, a well known Japanese botanist, plant ecologist and expert in restoration of natural vegetation on degraded land. He invented the Miyawaki restoration technique to protect the lowland areas against natural calamities like tsunami. The basic principle of Miyawaki is to initiate high density plantation in small piece of land with native tree species that can protect the low-lying areas from natural disasters. A method of developing a natural forest in the degraded forest areas is developed in a cost effective manner and is known as Yadadri Natural Forest (YNF) Establishment Model.  The principles of Miyawaki method and local practices and local materials are utilised in developing this model.

Miyawaki Principles of Natural Forest:

  • No defined spacing between plants;
  • Soil enrichment must be done before taking up plantation;
  • High density planting of herbs, shrubs and tree species up to 10000 plants per hectare;
  • Further supplementation of site by seed dibbling of native species;
  • Watering should be done at least upto next rainy season after planting;
  • Mulching should be done after planting to suppress weeds and prevent evaporation;
  • No existing tree in the area should be removed while doing soil enrichment;
  • Watering is to be done with tankers and pipe sprinkling instead of flood irrigation;
  • Periodical weeding is to be done till the end of the next rainy season after planting;
  • Huge crown developing tree species like Ficus should be avoided;
  • Seedlings or saplings of all sizes can be planted to give the plantation a 3-tier look of a natural forest;
  • Analysis of soil properties done in advance so as to choose the best soil enrichment practices; and
  • Except weeds no other naturally grown species shall be removed from the plots.


  • The basic principle behind the YNF model is high-density plantation in small areas. There is no defined spacing between the plants and required number of plants per hectare may go up to 10000.
  • Success of the model depends on various sequences of events, like site selection, site development, soil nutrient enrichment, species selection, pits dimension, planting pattern, usage of organic bio-fertilisers and post-planting management including irrigation schedule.
  • Site demarcation and clearance: It is necessary to demarcate the area and clear the site of existing unwanted vegetation (except trees). The quantification of biomass and saplings requirement of the area is calculated based on the site demarcation.
  • Soil testing and site enrichment: To ensure long-term sustainable growth, soil testing and soil enrichment and soil amendments are very important, especially to support high density planting during the establishment years. Site enrichment is done through the following steps:
  1. A total of one acre area is to be dug up to a depth of 30 cm and the soil is to be kept on all four sides.
  2. The dug up area has to be ploughed to a depth of 10 cm in a criss-cross manner.
  3. Dry and/or green leaves and grass of around four tons is used to cover the ploughed area at a thickness of 5 cm. Next, the area is to be covered with the soil which was kept aside up to a thickness of 10 cm and the total area is to be watered for three days to promote the decaying of the dried leaves and grass. Two tons of vermicompost with earthworms and around 4 tons of Farmyard Manure (FYM) are to be spread over the area.
  4. The entire area is then covered with soil as top layer with the soil which was kept aside.
  5. A small bund is formed with the leftover soil on all four sides.
  6. After covering the area with the soil the entire area is watered for three days continuously.
  7. After 3 weeks, this one acre area is ploughed completely.
  8. Pits measuring 30 cu cm are used for planting saplings. Small seedlings are planted by scooping the soil.

Other Methods for Soil Enrichment:

First method: Community lands: Cattle/Goats/Sheep are kept during nights for at least 3 months during the summer months (March to May) to cover the entire area with cattle dung and urine that will enrich the soil. Local farmers are offered financial support for keeping the cattle to enrich the soil fertility in this process.
a. During the first rains in the month of June, plots are ploughed and green manure seeds are sown. After 2 months, the plot is ploughed again.
b. To take up plantation in 30-cu cm pits.
c. For mulching, instead of using rice stubble, young branches of Neem/Gliricidia (Gliricidia Sp Uni) can be used as they retain soil moisture and improve the soil fertility.

Second method: In the reserved forest areas/protected areas
a. identify the degraded forest areas/forest restoration areas and start with soil plugging.
b. Use agricultural/crop waste and add domesticated animal dung for decomposing. The waste will improve the soil fertility.
c. Sow green manure crop during the first rains and plough it back after 2 months.
d. Planting is to be done in 30-cu cm pits.
e. For mulching instead of rice stubble Neem or Gliricidia (Gliricidia Sp Uni) young branches may be utilised.

Third method: Development of forest in urban areas:
a. Identify the degraded habitats/forest restoration areas and go for soil ploughing.
b. Use leaf litter in large quantities collected from the institutions, vegetable waste from the weekly markets/rythu bazaars (farmers' market), lawn grass waste etc. for enriching the soil. Decomposers like earthworms are then used for decomposing the waste. This way, burning of waste can be avoided.
c. After another ploughing planting is to be done in 30-cu cm pits.
d. For mulching Neem/Gliricidia (Gliricidia Sp Uni) young branches will be utilised.

UPSC Pre General Studies Study Material

Selection of native species: The quality of the plants used and selection of species are vital.
For better survival percentage, native species are to be chosen after conducting detailed study on the local areas. The species with straight bole and medium canopy are preferred. Sapling requirements for one acre of land and pattern of planting are given below:

  1. Seedlings or saplings of all sizes can be planted to give the plantation a 3-tier look of a natural forest;
  2. 4000 seedlings of various sizes of 20 different species are planted in one acre;
  3. Huge crown developing tree species like Ficus can be avoided;
  4. Deciduous species and evergreen species can be planted scattered evenly all over the area;
  5. After completion of the planting the dry grass is to be spread on top soil for mulching.
  • Irrigation schedule: Watering with tankers and pipe sprinklers is to be done instead of flood irrigation.
  • Post-planting management: Periodical wedding has to be done till the end of the next rainy season and saplings are to be protected from browsing and grazing animals. It can be with a fencing or watch and ward. Trench can be avoided as it draws all nutrients by seepage.


  • Higher biodiversity compared to plantation in a unit area;
  • It can be a home for wildlife like butterflies, squirrels, birds, reptiles, etc. within one year;
  • Natural forest look with multilayered evergreen trees;
  • More carbon fixing per unit area and
  • Self-sustainable forests.

Possible Areas for Implementation:

  • Areas with less than 0.1 density class areas in natural forests;
  • It serves as a vegetative measure for soil and water conservation due to its high density of plants and thick root system;
  • Cost effective measures of water harvesting and a permanent asset than a cement concrete structures like check dams and percolation tank which require periodical maintenance;
  • Every year 10 Ha natural forest can be created in every village with one lakh plants. It is an opportunity to develop a natural capital of 50 Ha with 5 lakh plants over a period of 5 years in every village.

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