How a Pakistani farmer of five acres can earn up to Rs50 million?
The Punjab government has come up with a landmark public-private partnership plan under which incentives and facilities are being offered to private landowners to fill their vacant spaces with trees and earn exchequers in million.
The five-year partnership earns Rs 5 million to 6 million per acre to a farmer on average.
Besides monetary benefits, the plantation is the most effective way to turn the tide of climate change.
How does the government help landowners for afforestation?
The government bears 70 per cent of charges for land levelling, and irrigation system installation and provides subsidized plants, seeds and saplings, free consultancy for better growth of trees and marketing strategies to sell timbers for five years.
Usually, a plant is provided at Rs 2 and two saplings for Re 1.
The government binds the party to nurture and cultivate the forest area for five years. During the five years of the agreement, the farmer cannot cut or sell plants. During this time, the farmer will be bound to irrigate the forest and take care of it.
In case a plant does not grow, dies or is eaten up bypassing by cattle, farmers can plant a replacement tree to fill the space.
After five years, when plants are fully grown trees, the landowner can sell trees for a better return.
Who can benefit from the scheme?
Any landowner who has five acres to 15 acres can apply for the scheme.
How to apply for the scheme?
A landowner needs to write an application to the forest division seeking help for afforestation on their land on a paper. They need to attach the following documents with the application:
A copy of CNIC
Photocopy of landowner deed (fard malkiat)
The economy of the scheme
Under the scheme, it is advised that a farmer plants 1,200 trees per acre. The cost of the plants will be Rs 2,400. For five acres, the cost will be Rs 12,000.
A diesel-powered tube well costs up to Rs 80,000, of which the government will provide 70 per cent of the price.
A solar-fired tube well costs Rs250,000 to 350,000 and again the similar arrangements are in place.
Average monthly expenses for a five-acre forest are Rs 25,000 – Rs 15,000 for a farm labourer and Rs 10,000 for diesel.
For five years (60 months), expenses will be Rs 1.5 million altogether. This is despite the fact that in the last two years, irrigation needs to diminish as trees are self-reliant to get water through their roots.
A five-year-old tree is sold at Rs 5,000 to 10,000, depending on the rates of timber at that time. If the price is taken at Rs 5,000, and the number of trees 10,000, the projected income will be Rs 50 million. Take out average expenses of Rs 1.5 million, a farmer can get away with Rs 48 million. Not a bad deal.
Which plants can be grown for a better return?
It depends on the region, climate and land quality.
These plants can be grown almost all over Punjab:
نیم or Azadirachta indica
شیشم یا ٹاہلی or Dalbergia sissoo
املتاس or Cassia fistula
سکھ چین or Millettia pinnata
کیکر or keekar
پیپل or pipal
آم or mango tree
مالٹا or kinnow
جامن or jaman-
زیتون or Olive
شہتوت or mulberry
بیری or berry
The best season to plant trees
Tree plantation seasons fall in January to March and July and August.
Planation can be the best mean for income generation besides the best gift to the local environment.
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