Rejuvenating dry lands using Seed Ball Technique

“Transforming and Rejuvenating dry lands, barren lands and manmade deserts of Bharat into forests usingSeed Ball Technique”

     Lands in India have been orphaned and deserted by people due to many reasons.

Primarily among them being due to excessive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, underground seepage of chemical effluents from heavy manufacturing industries which do not treat their effluents and dump them into water sources like streams, rivers and waste lands.

Non vialibility of farming as a profitable venture due to above reasons, has forced farmers to unwillingly abandon farmingand seek out other avenues in other sectors.

These and many other reasons like excessive deforestation has led to alarming state of future reality that is staring in front of us, as below.

  1. No food for the population.
  2. No drinking water for the population.

 If these issues are not addressed and solved, there will be an imminent war for food, water and air in the days to come.

To address all the above issues, we would like to introduce “ Seed Ball Technique” as a god sent boon, which will solve these myriad problems.

 Seed Ball or also called as “Earth Balls” was rediscovered by a Japanese farming pioneer Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka. He implemented this and revived waste lands, rocky mountains, into a fertile region covered with thick forests.

 So what is this “Seed Ball Technique”?

 Seeds are placed in the middle of a ball made up of moist mixture of clay, red soil, cow dung and cow urine. The cow dung and urine acts as natural compost and provides microbial inoculants.

Then this Seed ball is dried up in shade and becomes hard.

This dried, hard Seed ball is then sowed or thrown in waste lands, dry lands, uninhabited lands just before the monsoon or rainy season.

The rains soak the seed ball, the seeping water germinates the seed inside the seed ball.

The sprouting seed uses the nutrients of the seed ball and its roots spread inside the land and grows up to become a tree sapling. This sapling grows up to become a big tree.

Since the seed struggles for its survival to grow up into a sapling, the sapling adapts to its environment better than those where a grown sapling is planted.

 The Seed Ball Technique was pioneered by Mr. Gangadhar, Secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, who vowed to bring back the forests and greenery around the villages surrounding Bangalore.

Inspired by his commitment and dedication, youth from Uttishta Bharatha, joined hands and made 6000 seed balls in a day. The target is to make 100000 seed balls, which will be planted across the periphery of Bangalore by school children and youths.

 Traditionally seed ball was thrown in dry lands, which would grow into forests. In this method, less than 50% of the seed balls survive and grow into tree saplings

Uttishta Bharatha, with the guidance of Mr. Gangadhar ji, is taking a new approach to ensure that all the seed balls that are sowed grow into tree saplings. For this, we will involve school children and hold Vanamahotsava competition. A brief outline of this is described below.

 Each child will be given 2 types of seed balls, one being a fruit [ typically guava, sapota, pomegranate, chiku] and other a shade tree [ Neem, Pongemia, Banyan, Jambu] . We will give them a waste plastic mineral water bottle, cut with a hole in the botton, with pin hole in the cap.[ The plastic bottles are then inserted upside down with the bottom part facing the sky, and inserted next to the seed ball]. During monsoon, the rains will fill the water bottle and germinate the seed balls. Now is the interesting part.

During spring and summer, we will have a competition for the children, who have to fill up water in the plastic bottle, minimum twice a week, for next 6 months. In this manner , the saplings will grow up to become young trees in 1 year. There is one more interesting part , as every child grows a fruit tree, he/she will get to eat all the fruits in the tree J , instead of a few.

The children will be awarded with accolades, certificates and prizes. This will inspire rest of the children to participate and contribute.

 This Seed Ball Technique will transform the lands and minds of the people in India and breathe in life into Green Revolution.

 So, next question.

 Why should Bharat, state governments, centre government headed by Mr. Narendra Modi adopt Seed Ball Technique?

  • Lowest Cost

 Consider This. What is the typical cost of buying a young tree sapling, planting it, protecting it with fence and tree guard, labor involved and the outcome. The outcome is half of the young trees do not survive to grow into big trees. The total cost incurred in this process is Rs 300-Rs400 per tree sapling.

Now let’s consider the seed ball.

Ingredients needed: Seeds -à Typical seed cost[ Ex; Neem/Pongemia] is Rs30-Rs40/Kg. 1000-2000 seeds are available for 1Kg. Even at 1000 seeds/Kg, cost of each seed is 40 paisa[ @Rs40/Kg]. The seed ball mixture cost [red soil, clay, cow dung, urine] is 0.60 paisa. So at 1 Rupee, we get 1 seed ball. Labor cost is zero, as people, youths and school children will volunteer and do shramdaan. Disposed plastic bottles are available free from big companies, companies, marriage halls, etc., who dispose it after drinking mineral water.

 So, for Rs300, which is the cost for planting one sapling in the traditional method, we can sow 300 seed balls for the same amount.

 Mass Scale of implementation

As Seed Ball preparation, does not involve growing saplings in plastic covers, then transplanting them like in the traditional methods, it can be prepared in mass scale, required no equipment, high costs, and very easy to make. 50 volunteers working for 6 hours can make 10000 seed balls. These seed balls can be then used in all places in a mass scale, as it does not involve huge transportation costs, like in traditional methods, nor does it involve labor to dig pits.So lakhs of seed balls can be made easily and sowed in a massive scale.

  • Highest Efficiency

Since the seed balls sprout, struggle for their survival and grow up to become a tree, they survive the hard way. The practice involving school children to sow 2 types of seed balls, along with the fruit variety, ensures better survival, sustenance and adaptation as these kids will take care of them during summer and hence the success of these seed balls to grow into trees will be very high.

 Benefits of implementing Seed Ball Technique

  • Greenery in dry lands.
  • Better oxygen levels and oxygen density in cities, villages and reduced pollution.
  • Lower carbon dioxide emissions, as trees absorb them.
  • Lower soil Erosion during rainy season.
  • Increase in underground water levels.
  • Wood, bio mass, and compost for farmers from tree leaves, branches.
  • Healthier and Stronger Bharat

Authored by N. Vijayasarathy Shastri, inspired by Gangadhar ji

Work done by Uttishta Bharatha and Gangadhar ji. Some photos.

Gangadhar ji explaining the seed ball sapling planting process to Uttishta Bharatha volunteers


 

Seed balls being dried.

 

Volunteers from Uttishta Bharatha preparing seed balls

 

Prepared Seed balls in 6 hours shram daan. Total 6000 seed balls