Forest Dept introduces eco-friendly, cost-effective coir root trainers to plant saplings
Thrissur: The forest department has come up with a solution for the environmental issues caused by abandoning the plastic covers after planting the saplings in them. The central nurseries and the social forestry nurseries under the department will use only coir root trainers (coir RT) for planting saplings from now on.
As coir RTs offer better air circulation, the roots grow stronger and the tap root also grows well. As the experiment was successful, the forest department decided to replace plastic covers with coir RT for growing saplings. Following this, the 4 central nurseries bought 10,000 coir RTs each and social forestry nurseries purchased 5,000 coir RTs since May this year.
One coir RT costs Rs 5. Plastic RTs are available for a lower rate. However, when coir RT is used, the soil and fertilizer mix is required only one fourth of the usual quantity when the saplings are replanted. The cost of producing a sapling is Rs 13 while using coir RT and Rs 15 for plastic covers. This helps the forest department save a huge amount.
The forest department has also plans to manufacture coir RTs in Kerala with the help of forest protection committees. With this, the production cost can be further reduced, said Veenadevi, the range officer at Central Nursery in Chattikkulam.