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Effectiveness of Aerial Seeding in Reclamation of Chambal Ravines in Madhya Pradesh


Chambal ravines extending over an area of about 3.20 lakh hectares in Bhind and Morena districts of northern Madhya Pradesh are being reclaimed through aerial seeding. This programme was started in 1980 in Morena over an area of about 503 hectares. About 21,063 hectares of ravines in Morena and Bhind areas were covered by 1985. Another 30,000 hectares were covered by aerial seeding in 1986 alone. It is now proposed to take up about 25,000 hectares annually and liquidate the entire ravinous areas by 1993-94. About 1,000 tonnes of forest seeds have been sown from air and another 4000 tonnes of forest seeds are required to be sown in next few years. The appraisal of aerial seeding is being done by State Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur (M.P.) since 1981. Initial experience of carrying out systematic sampling has not been found feasible and therefore, an improvised 'time-distance' method of sampling described in this paper, was resorted to monitor the aerial seeding. In all 967 quadrats of size 10 m × 10 m were laid out on gully top, slopes and in gully beds. Seedlings were counted from these plots. The results were then statistically analysed. Results available from this survey have shown that the seedling count is highly variable (zero to 5777). On an average 200-300 seedlings/ha have been found in seeded areas. The results of aerial seeding, its practicability, operational convenience and economic feasibility vis-a-vis the recommendations and research needs have been discussed in this paper.

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