KOKRAJHAR, July 26 - The 135 Inf Bn (TA) Eco Assam recently conducted a seed ball broadcast drive at Upendra National Academy at Bishmuri in Kokrajhar to create awareness of this technique.
A total of 10 teachers and 150 students actively participated in the event. A lecture was also delivered to explain about the techniques and benefits of seed ball broadcast.
During the awareness programme on seed ball plantation, 125 silikha, 68 behera, 165 imli, 95 gamri, 70 segun/teak, 88 suveval saplings were planted.
It may be mentioned here that seed balls also known as �earth balls� consist of a variety of different seeds rolled within a ball of clay. Various additives may be included, such as humus or compost. These are placed around the seeds, at the centre of the ball to provide microbial inoculants. Cotton fibres or liquefied paper are sometimes mixed into the clay in order to strengthen it, or liquefied paper mash coated on the outside to further protect the clay ball during sowing by throwing, particularly in harsh habitats.
Seed bombing is a technique of introducing vegetation to land by throwing seed balls.
Sowing seed directly in the field is an old technique to protect seed from insects, rodents and birds. Today aerial seeding is already regarded as practical reforestation technique.
Aerial seeding is best suited to sites whose remoteness, ruggedness, inaccessibility or sparse population makes seed planting difficult. It is well suited for use in areas where there may be a dearth of skilled labourers, supervisors and funds for reforestation. It has the potential to help increase production of tree crops for forage, food and honey as well as wood for fuel, posts, lumber, charcoal and pulp.
Seed balls have been used in regions where plants can grow for re-seeding ecosystems in an area of man-made deserts, avoiding seed eating insects and animals and protecting seeds until rains fall to soak the seed balls and stimulate the seeds.
It may be added here that the 135 Inf Bn (TA) Eco Assam has broadcasted 3465 seed balls till date.