PERENNIAL CROP FOREST ANOTHER DIMENSION IN THE DRY ZONE FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT
AbstractIn Sri Lanka a land extent of 1.26 million hectare in dry and intermediate zones, which hadbeen once utilized for chena cultivation during last few decades, is presently a concern ofagriculture and forestry development sectors for future production enhancement. Part of thisland resource is marginal and hence restrict the importance for continuous cultivation ofseasonal crops. Reforestation with trees of timber value is a successful option for theseareas, but promotion of such programmes with farmers participation is difficult sincefarmers expect only short-term benefits. Inclusion of fruit trees that can attract farmers forreforestation programmes would he a better alternative. This can be considered as a multiplelandusc (forest-garden) system. Introduction of perennial crop mulching, micro-levelrainwater harvesting and use of large planting pits with expanded soil moisture and nutrientreserves can he successfully adopted to protect young perennial plants from droughtdamage. This innovation has now brought the expectation of perennial crop 'forest' systemfor degraded lands in the dry zones of Sri Lanka.
Forestry and Natural Resource Management