Definition and Benefits of Afforestation
Afforestation means tree planting programs, under taken by the Govt./Institute/Individual on Govt./Common/Own land.
Benefits of the Afforestation:
In Afforestation work, approximately eighty per cent of the total amount of expenditure is incurred on account of wages on such works as soil digging, sowing, weeding etc. which is done mostly by landless and otherwise very poor laborers. A part of the increased population of the next few decades might well be absorbed in the fields of employment that will be opened as a result of availability of vast amounts of raw material. Here against the avenues of employment will mostly benefit the poor and middle class people.
Creation of an Economic Capital:
The extensive Afforestation will not only provide direct employment of lakhs of poor people as indicated above but will create a permanent capital of immense value. The increased Afforestation envisaged in the plan when completed is likely to more than double the output of timber.
Increased Food and Fodder Production:
To the unwary it may appear suppressing how rising of forests will increase the food production. It will also provide grazing facilities and solve the problem of fodder for cattle.
Avenues of Cottage Industry:
The vast amount of raw material that will be available from the increased forests will open up unlimited scope for a number of cottage industries such as furniture, sports goods, match industry, wood carryings, basket making, pencil making, hand-made paper industry, house building etc.
Regulation of Streams, Rivers and Underground Water:
One of the greatest needs of the time is to control and regulate such forces of nature as rain and wind to the best advantage of man. The role of forests in cushioning the beating rain, the intercepting a part of the precipitation and conserving it and releasing it gradually through the springs, needs no further elucidation
Increasing Longevity of Dams and Reservoirs:
The extensive forests that will be raised over the catchment areas of the rivers on which great dams and reservoirs are being built will prevent the erosion of the top soil to a great extent and thereby the silting up of the beds of impounded lakes will be greatly reduced. By reducing the velocity of rushing rain waters, the wooded lands constitute the best insurance against denudations, devastating floods, disappearance of springs and silting up of the beds of reservoirs, canals and rivers. So important is the role of vegetation over the catchment area of our river systems that their proper afforestation must precede every irrigation project.