Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dahyo Baval (Prosopis Juliflora)

Dahyo Baval (Prosopis Juliflora)

Gujarat is located near the Desert, therefore desertification of some of it's northwest and north parts is a natural phenomena. Due to insufficient rain, these parts, except in the few months of monsoon, used to look barren. Therefore, 130 years ago, the then rulers brought the seeds of Prosopis Juliflora from Australia and air sprayed over the barren lands. And the immortal plant spread like an invasive weed and made the desert earth green. It has performed good act, therefore, could have been named "Dahya Baval" but people looking at his capacity of spreading with the winds, call it "Ganda Baval". It is also known as angreji/vilayati babool.

It has traveled to many districts of Gujarat and to the districts of Rajasthan. In Rajasthan, it has crossed Jodhpur and marching towards Jeisalmer to defeat the desert of Thar Parkar.

Unless it is removed with the roots through JCB this plant is immortal. Each plant generate hundreds of seeds. The animals those eat, add fertilisers to it's seed and expand their growth through excretion. The species is generating it's nitrogen on its own, therefore, fertility of land doesn't matter for its survival. Little moisture and a place to stay, it spreads and multiply. It's roots go very deep (upto 53 metres) inside in search of water.

It has stopped soil erosion. It has given green cover to the barren lands.vIt is a shelter to many wilds. It's pods are food for many animals. It has served fuel wood demand of thousands of households, therefore saved many other trees.  It generates oxygen. It also generates money. The honey generated from the Juliflora is of very good quality. It is estimated that Kutch forest of Juliflora produces 500 quintal (potential 2500 Q) honey per annum. Honey is a food as well as medicine for the humans. New experiments suggest that lac which is grown on Kusum can also be grown on Juliflora.

The way live Juliflora is useful, the dead is even more useful. There was a phrase for elephant, jinda lakh ka, murda sava lakh ka. Now with the prohibition of sell of elephant bones, the phrase is not in use. But Juliflora is earning for men when alive and earn even more after it's death.

It's charcoal (85000 MT/annum) is used as fuel  not only in houses but also in restaurants and industries. The charcoal powder is used in RO machines to filter the water. It's paste makes the teeth whiter. The charcoal powder doesn't allow the bio items to grow, therefore used in Pharma and other industries in packing of drugs and food articles. Rs.10/kg charcoal, after heating at 1200 degrees temperature become a low wait substance, powdered, that earns Rs. 75/kg to the manufacturer. However 4 kg charcoal become 1 kg after heating, therefore, the profit margin is around Rs. 15/kg. Imagine, somebody produces 4 MT charcoal powder a day, it's a very good business. Low investment, high returns, more employment. Heavy Industries may generate 1 job for the investment of Rs. 20 Cr or Rs. 200 Cr, but the small industries generate more jobs from less investment. The cottage and rural industries even generate more jobs. The entire informal sector is working and surviving with the capital cost of approximately Rs. 10,000/head. Heavy industries generate profits and increase the income of the governments, that is spend over the infrastructure development. And the cottage and rural industries generate revenue that feed the masses of the Country.

Due to it's spread over the grass lands and crop lands, many advocate for it's forceful removal. But they didn't succeed. It has survived and will survive for long. It is not Gando Baval but the Dahyo Baval of the State. It has given us more. However, it has to be cut periodically and to be used, otherwise, it may turn into Gando Baval again.

It is a 'Vijay Shami' that can conquer any land.

15 June 2016

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