Malabar Neem: Best Social Forestry Crop
Social forestry means the management and protection of forest and afforestation of barren and deforested lands with the purpose of helping environmental, social and rural development.
Melia dubia(Malabar neem) is one of the most favoured trees as it is more economical to grow and is financially superior to other crops. It is now driving the social forestry revolution with the help of local and central government schemes in India. Melia dubia(Malabar neem) is not only used as a social forestry crop, but is also used as commercial soft wood crop due to the huge demand from various industrial and commercial clients.
The Indian government is trying to increase forest areas that are close to human settlement and have been degraded over the years due to human activities needed to be afforested. Trees were to be planted in and around agricultural fields. Plantation of trees along railway lines and roadsides, and river and canal banks were carried out. They were planted in village common land, government wasteland, and Panchayat land. Social forestry scheme was initiated in India to increase fuel availability in rural areas and to prevent soil erosion. This programme was a failure because of the lack of governance. It is important to know that social forestry includes maximum utilization of land for several purposes.
Now that people are seeing the financial side of the social forestry crops like Melia dubia, more and more people are getting into the soft wood business to cash in the profits from their barren farm lands.