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Banas Dairy, one of the largest milk cooperative union in Gujarat, is planning to drop seed bombs on the mountain ranges near the Ambaji temple in Banaskantha district, where forest cover has depleted by over 578 hectares in the last three years.

“The mountain ranges in our district have become dry. On June 4, we will drop seed bombs on the mountains near Ambaji temple. We have prepared 50 lakh seed bombs for this purpose. These are seeds of local trees coated in cow dung. This is an initiative of Banas Dairy,” said Shanker Chaudhary, Chairman of Banaskantha District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited, also known as Banas Dairy.

The mountains where the initiative will be undertaken before the monsoon is part of Danta taluka of Banaskantha. Over 1,000 people are expected to manually climb and spread out in the mountains, to drop the seed bombs. “The thought process behind this initiative is to plant more trees to attract rains. It is not just the government which can carry out such initiatives, even an organisation of farmers like ours can contribute,” added Chaudhary who is also a senior BJP  leader from the district and an former minister in Gujarat government.

Banaskantha is one of the dry regions of the state that receives about 650 mm of annual rainfall, most of which is received during the monsoon.

This is the second consecutive year when Banas Dairy is undertaking this project.

“Last year we had dropped seed bombs on mountains of Jessore in Amirgadh taluka,” he added. Jessore is home to the sloth bear sanctuary.

The task of growing more trees in Banaskantha comes at a time when it figures among the 16 districts of Gujarat where forest cover has reduced. Acoording to the India State Forest Report 2021, Banaskatha has a 816.71 square kilometers of moderate dense forest and open forests. Of this, the district has lost 5.79 square kilometers of forest cover since 2019.

Apart from dropping seed bombs, Banas Dairy is also planning to deepen local water reservoirs in the district before monsoon.

Source : The Indian Express May 27th 2022