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Money spinning tree

melia dubia

Melia dubia (malai vempu/konda yappa) and kumil (gmelina arborea) are the fast growing species among timber varieties in the universe. Melia dubia originates from the Meliaceae family and is an indigenous species of tree to India, South East Asia and Australia, where it has been cultivated as a source of firewood. The tree can be cultivated in all types of soil and requiring a low supply of water on a daily basis. If you have a plot of land, which you consider is degraded land you can use it for growing Melia dubia.

Melia dubia has the unique feature of growing to 40 feet within two years from planting and can be mechanically pruned and harvested. As an energy crop, Melia dubia has the potential of yielding in excess 40 tonnes of biomass on average per acre per annum over a 10 year period (before replanting is required). Its high calorific value makes it a viable source of feedstock for biomass power plants.

The minimum cultivation period is six years onwards. The age of the tree is nine years. In addition, the trees also aid the planet by preventing temperature rise and checking gas emission into the atmosphere as the trees are naturally endowed to absorb maximum CO{-2}.

Melia is a money spinning tree of short duration. Block planting of 300 to 400 trees per acre can ensure a minimum profit of Rs one lakh per year from an acre. Intercultivation can be done with annual crops in the first three years and then spices such as pepper can be grown. Even if planted in a single row along the field bunds, about 60 trees can be planted at six feet spacing which will fetch an income of about Rs.2 lakhs in the sixth year. Under high density planting with 1,000 to 1,500 trees in an acre, a yield of 40 to 50 tonnes is possible from the second and third year of planting.

As the demand for Melia wood is quite high from the plywood industry, minimum profit of about Rs.40,000 per year from an acre can be ensured for the farmers. Regarding pest infestations affecting this variety is susceptible to root rot. Only optimum irrigation is required.

While planting the seedlings application of 2-3 kgs of vermicompost, 40 gms of Phosphobacteria, Azospirillum and Trichoderma Viride each in addition to 10-20 gms of Pseudomonas and 100 grams of VAM (vesicular arbuscular mycoriza) helps in promoting good growth.

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