There were hundreds of farmers gathered in Dharwad, to prepare small mud balls containing seeds, which were called as seed balls. In fact, they were all members of Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development project. As I knew little bit about seed balls, I was curious to know the link which connected these farmers with seed balls.
The seed ball preparation concept was originally from countries like Germany and France. There governments sponsor the seed ball preparation programme and they drop the balls using the helicopters. This tradition is in practice from many years. But this is new for us.
Hemavathi V. Heggade gave an initiative to the programme last year itself through SKDRDP, which is spread across the state. As a result the preparation of seed ball is going on in Khintanakapura, Chintamani, Mulabhagilu, Doddaballapur, Shidlaghatta, Hosakote, Chikkaballapur and Bangalore rural. Programmes are being conducted to prepare seed balls and throw them into forests. More than 75% seeds in the seed balls grow into saplings.
Based on the success of last year, to spread greenery in minimum expenditure, in the direction of SKDRDP President Dr. D Veerendra Heggade, in the guidance of Executive Director Dr. L H Manjunath, seed balls are being prepared in every taluk. As it has become a movement, lakhs of seed balls have been prepared already.
This programme can be implemented at any district of the state. As the forest region of the coastal region becoming thin and fast, this programme would be more relevant. This can be very good idea to develop nature. One must remember that the cost of preparing seed ball is very less and the process is very simple.
What it needs to prepare a seed ball?
At first mix different types of seeds with a mixture of soil and fertilizer. Then prepare balls of seeds from that mixture and dry them under the sunlight. The soil can be red, black soil of tanks or any other types of soils according to the region. Along with this we have to use organic fertilizer, cow dung, vermin compost or cow urine. Seed balls can be prepared using Indian beech or Honge, tamarind, curry leaves, Aralu or ink tree, soapnut or Antuvaala, Taarekayi tree, mango and other forest tree seeds.
Prepare seed balls like this…
First mix three parts of soil with one part of cow dung compost. One can use water based on the water content in the mixture. Healthy seeds should be used for the seed balls and seeds should be kept in middle of the balls. To keep the seed balls tight, one can add little amount of clay or Jedi mannu.
How to use seed balls?
After drying the seed balls under sunlight for two days, we should make it sure that there is no water content. This kind of seeds should be stored for four to six months. Now they are ready to throw in the forest. We can also prepare seedballs and dry them in the sunlight for two hours before use.
This year the SKDRDP has an aim of preparing 10 lakh seed balls to throw them in the forest. Around 2 lakh seed balls have been prepared already. In different taluks, information is being given to the beneficiaries of the project, along with the guidance, so that they can prepare seed balls by themselves and use them in forest, on the banks of the lakes, rivers, around the schools. With the help of fertilizer content in the seed balls, saplings would grow easily. To thicken the forest with the help of this programme, it needs the cooperation of public.