In order to provide sustained source of income to the Mudiraj community, the district forest officials have taken up massive plantation of custard apple (Annona squamosa) as part of the compensatory afforestation programme of the Kaleshwaram project.
Sitaphal (custard apple), which was once the main source of livelihood for the Mudiraj community given its abundance in the region, has now become extinct due to rapid industrialisation, advent of granite quarry industries and other infrastructure development. This has affected the livelihood of the Mudiraj community.
In order to increase the forest cover and also provide livelihood to the community, the forest authorities have taken up massive plantation of Sitaphal saplings in the region, involving the Mudiraj community for its protection and nurturing.
Against the target of planting 50,000 Sitaphal saplings, more than 47,000 saplings have been planted in Bonala, Sarampalli, Thimmapur, Baswapur and other villages in the district. Fencing of the block plantation for protection from wild animals has also been undertaken.
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mohan Chandra Paragaien said that they had taken up the fruit-bearing variety of saplings under the compensatory afforestation programme of the Kaleshwaram project.
He said that they were also planning to take up plantation of Sitaphal in the Jagtial district also.
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