New Delhi, Sept. 16: In a move to make agro-forestry more viable for farmers Indian forest scientists has developed clone variety of highly popular Sisham (Dalbergia sissoo) and eucalyptus resistant to devastating disease called die-back on Thursday.
The Shisham and eucalyptus varieties have been developed by Dehradun-based Forest research Institute. These species are highly popular among farmers for their agro-forestry systems and it is expected these new varieties will increase farmers income substantially
Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), which released the new varieties on Thursday, said that Dalbergia sissoo (Shisham) (FRI-DS-14) is not only productive but shows resistance to the devastating disease of Shisham called die-back.
The new Shisham variety has an excellent bole form which increases its value in timber industry. After a thorough research and field testing, since 1992, the department has released the first ever clone variety of Shisham.
ICFRE said that the productivity of the clone is expected to be around 18 cubic meters per hectare per year in comparison to preset productivity of 5-7 cubic meters per hectare per hectare per year.
Farmers across the country sustained heavy loss due to die-back disease in Sisham as it caused their plantation to die once the plant reached the age of 4-5 years.
ICFRE released a clone of Eucalyptus (FRI-EH-001), which has a productivity of more than of 30 cubic meters per hectare per year as against the existing 22-24 cubic meter per hectare per year.
Shisham and Eucalyptus clones were developed by the team led by scientists Dr Ashok Kumar and Dr Ajay Thakur.