To encourage public participation in increasing the city’s depleting green cover, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) recently held a workshop for activists and residents on how to prepare seed balls. Now, the civic garden department has been able to get ready at least 2,000 seedballs for plantation during monsoon. Seedballs are prepared by mixing dry cowdung and soil. Balls are made of it by adding water while the seed is inserted inside.
This innovation came about because in the traditional practice of spreading seeds in open ground, seeds were either eaten by birds or insects and never managed to germinate. A seedball ensures that the seed is not wasted and increases the chances of it germinating after being put in the soil. Shreyas Deshpande of Kothrud participated in the workshop and found it to be a very good way to ensure that seeds are not wasted.
“It is a very easy to prepare seedballs. The practice needs to be spread among more residents interested in participating in increasing green cover in the city,” he said. “The workshop on preparing seed balls got a good response. The PMC garden department has 2,000 seedballs ready to be used in the plantation drive,” said Santoshkumar Kamble, Assistant Garden Superintendent.
He said that the garden department ensured that the seedballs were prepared of local plant species and properly done with public participation. The focus was on providing seedballs for planting trees of tamarind, custard apple, Semecarpus anacadrium (bibwa).
“Those residents who participated in it would now provide the same training to other residents,” said Kamble. Another civic officer said that the seedballs would now be sown in various parts of Pune that have been identified for tree plantation. “Mayor Mukta Tilak and few other corporations participated in the workshop which sent a positive message to the public,” he added.
The mayor has appealed residents to follow the practice in tree plantation while collecting seeds of local plant species from around their residential area so that they are not wasted.