While India has experienced a slight uptick in its total forest coverage recently, there are still areas of the country that are experiencing deforestation. Much of the loss of trees is due to economic growth the country is experiencing as a whole, and the need to access water sources. Shifting cultivation is another reason for deforestation in parts of the country. Shifting cultivation is a form of agriculture in which an area of ground is cleared of vegetation and cultivated for a few years and then abandoned for a new area until its fertility has been naturally restored. As the prosperity of the Indian people grows, this increases the need for agricultural activity which leads to more shifting cultivation.
Not only are we planting trees in India, but farmers are also being trained in best tree planting methods, nursery preparation, farm conservation and finance, and irrigation management. They also learned methods and techniques to protect trees to withstand local climatic conditions and thus help to ensure the newly planted trees’ long-term survival. This social forestry education, coupled with an increase in technology literacy, also allows for job growth in the region, and the ability to earn a sustainable income.
The Gifted Tree has several planting projects in India. In the region of Vengal, in the southern part of the country, your gift tree will typically be of Red Sandalwood, Teak, and Vengai varieties. In the northern rural state of Uttar Pradesh, fruit trees will be planted, while we are planting mangroves in the Sundarbans forest of eastern India. The fruit tree species we’ll focus on are: moringa, papaya, banana, lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach, and jujubes. Moringa, papaya, and banana grow quickly and will provide food and fruit within 8-10 months of planting. Lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach, and jujubes take a little longer (3 years) to produce fruit, but will ultimately provide a steady supply of food and income to small farmers.