From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Aerial and Dart seeding
Mains level : Aforestation measures
The Delhi High Court asked forest authorities whether “planting of seeds could be done by throwing dart shots containing them from helicopters into forest areas”.
- Aerial seeding is a well-established concept, but this is generally achieved not with darts but by spraying seeds through an aircraft or a drone.
- Aerial seeding can be used not only to plant various crops but also to spread grasses to large areas of the land after wildfires, a common problem in countries like the United States.
- Aerial seeding is adopted because it is quicker and more effective than planting manually.
- It also allows access to areas where the terrain is rocky or at high elevation.
- Dart seeding is used with the same broad objective as aerial seeding: a plantation in inaccessible areas.
- The process involves throwing darts containing seeds onto open ground.
- A variation of dart seeding was used in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the late 1990s, but not with a helicopter.
- The Forest Department used a long iron rod to access ground that could not be reached due to thick cover of shrubs. Seeds were put into the rod, which had a small opening at the other end.
- When the rod was inserted into the removed and then removed, the soil would cover the seed, unlike in aerial plantation when seeds are thrown into open ground.
- In aerial seeding, many seeds fail to germinate. If dart plantation is done from a low-flying helicopter, seeds have a relatively better chance of survival as they reach deeper into the ground.
- Plantation with both aerial and dart plantations is carried out close to the onset of monsoon as watering the seeds is often challenging in inaccessible areas.