Friday, November 7, 2014

NeemLife Plantatinon: Establishment of a Neem Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Sashi Dayarathne

NeemLife Plantation is willing to establish a plantation in Horowpathana area which is located in Anuradhapura district by using Azadirachta indica as the species. Plantation extends to 25.5 ha and it is going to be carried out in three phases. The plantation is adding value to its premises by intercropping with chili as a cash crop. The vision of this plantation is to be the pioneers of supplying Neem raw material to the local and international Neem based manufacturers and their mission is to provide good quality Neem leaves, seeds, fruits, bark to the Neem product manufacturers and provide high quality, durable timber to the sawmills and furniture manufacturers.

When it comes to the A. indica it is one of the multipurpose trees available in the country which provide a path to the commercial industries like cosmetics, aurvedic and biopesticies. One of the best thing is that Neem does not require highly fertile soils, can be grown even in barren lands. It does not support, however, marshy or acid lands. The tree physiology requires temperature that varies between 8º and 40º C. The more hot and humid climate, the faster is the growth. And also for an economic exploration it must be planted on sites in which rainfall is in between 800 and 1,500 mm per year. In very favorable conditions, the Neem can reach 10 m height in eight years and 12 m in ten years, and produce fruit up to 60 kg per year by one tree. The Neem tree contains a thousand of chemical components. It is remarkable the occurrence of the so-called “Limonoids”, which are very rare. They appear in Neem in more than one hundred types.

Neem is going to be planted with 5x5 m spacing under plantation establishment. Therefore 400 Neem seedlings will be planted per ha and can be maintained by providing organic fertilizer and proper irrigation system. Thinning can be carried out two times in its plantation rotation. One is at the age of 10 when the mean top height is up to 10-15 m and other one is when the age is 25 where the mean top height is up to 20 m.The first flowering of trees occurs in the 4th year. The production of fruits starts with only 10 kg per tree (4.0 tons per ha), going up to 60 kg per tree (16.0 tons per ha) in the 10th year. Each tree produces 2 tons per year up to 7 tons per year of leaves, produce 60 m3 volume of timber per ha.

Plantation can be benefited by obtaining tradable carbon credits for removing CO2 from the atmosphere, according to the cycle of cutting and harvesting of the plantation to be considered within the concept of green carbon. The Neem plantation is indeed an interesting tool for promoting sustainable plantation in Sri Lanka while providing high return rates to investors and social development in rural areas. As it can support organic agriculture in large scale for removing agro toxic from the traditional agriculture.

An open-grown neem tree


ECOGreen (Pvt) Limited: Establishment of a Pericopsis Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Chathuranga Deshapriya

Nedun (Pericopsis mooniana) is a perennial tree native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. It belongs to family Fabaceae. This species is considered as threatened species due to heavy exploitation for its beautiful timber, which is in great demand and realizes high prices. It is threatened further by poor natural regeneration and lack of replanting. Nedun trees are generally distributed in wet and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka. Usually timber has high durability thus it is use for High class furniture, cabinet work, flooring, carvings and ornamental works.

A forest management company named as ECOGreen (Pvt.) Ltd is established with aim of promoting Nedun plantations to generate investment opportunities for Sri Lankans as well as foreign investors. Company is highly focused on forest management activities, which acts on behalf of owners of plantation blocks, in order to generate the most value from their forest investment and protect their asset. With the aim of establishing Nedun plantation in low country wet zone, 42.5 hectares of abandoned Rubber estate will be acquired which is located in Bodiyakanda, Agalawatta.

Land preparation can be done using mechanical and manual methods for preparing the ground for planting to ensure the best possible utilization of the soil resources for the plants. Nedun seeds purchased from reliable suppliers are raised in the nursery using prescribed techniques. Seedlings will be planted during May-June rainy season. The required spacing for planting trees is 5.0m × 5.0m such that number of plants per ha is around 400. Fertiliser with N.P.K. ratio 9:13:9 is added to Nedun plants in first three years and just after pre commercial thinning at year 7. Two pruning treatments must be done at age 4 and 7.

Value addition to a Nedun plantation can be done by maximization of land utilization by introducing intercrops as short term income generation method. For this purpose Pepper and Arecanut can be recommended. In addition to that use of low cost fertilizer mixture, high quality seedling and obtaining FSC certification can be done. In SWOT analysis, excellent return of investment and highly experienced management as some strengths, the growing cycle for Nedun is not more aggressive as one of weakness, high market potential as one of opportunity, land invasion and theft and other natural disasters such as heavy rains and floods can be mentioned as threats.


Maho Plantations: Establishment of a Mahogany Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Shernima Rodrigo

Swietenia macrophylla, which belongs to Meliaceae family, is one of the most valuable and quality furniture timbers in the world timber market, for its decorative and attractive timber with good technical characteristics. Mahogany has a long history in Sri Lanka, and this tree is maintained mainly in the intermediate zone and low country wet zone in Sri Lanka.

By realising the timber value of Mahogany, Maho Plantations Ltd. has also started creating mahogany plantations in Sri Lanka. The company head office is at Narahenpita. The mahogany plantations are mainly concentrated in Kurunegala area. The company provides variety of investment benefits to their investors.

Maho Plantations Ltd. has a competent team of consultants who has experience and knowledge in the field of plantation management and they take care of the mahogany plantations. This company does not only plant mahogany trees on the land acquired, but also has taken steps to intercrop banana as a value addition to the existing mahogany lands. This practice enables the company to provide returns ranging from short-term to long-term, and everything in between. Plus, as a result of unparalleled planning and forest management practices, the harvest yields consistently forecast returns that are above the industry average.

The company is looking forward to expand the land area and the variety of species used, to identify new business opportunities, such as Carbon fixation value of the plantation and achieving ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 standards.


Young mahogany plantation in Rathnapura, Sri Lanka

Melia Plantations: establishment of a Melia dubia Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Kuluni Millaniyage

One of the major problems in today's agriculture and forestry sector is reducing income year by year. The land values are increased and income from plantation management is reduced due to increased cost for labour, increase in cost of cultivation and increase in transportation cost. Because of that owners are selling land and looking for other business. Therefore we need to think of obtaining good income from forestry by reducing labors and increasing yield. In today's picture, the middle men are earning a good income from timber products, and the planter who produces gets less from what he produced. Since many short term crops need more labor, transportation and inventory cost, the final gain for the planters are very low. To make good revenues per hectare, we need to cultivate medium to long term crops keeping the cost to minimal.

Melia Dubia is one of the fast growing trees in the world and gives good returns. It can be used in match or biomass or plywood industries. After 3 years, 30-40 tons of biomass per acre can be harvested up to 10 years. The price of wood per cubic meter is SLR 9,900 and therefore one can get minimum revenue of Rs 1,033,200 per every hectare.

When establishing a plantation, the major importance is to decide on the best area to grow the plants. Since this species is growing well in the wet and intermediate zone, Mathugama area was selected as the destination.

Ginger which is a gold mining business itself is intercropped to utilize the land area. Ginger can be harvested within 10 months while the Melia plants will be harvested after 14 years.

Pruning and thinning is given a great importance as well as supplying the timber to plywood companies. As the conclusion, this plant can be recommended as a profitable tree with a good potential for the future timber market.


Green Wood Plantation: Establishment of Microcorys Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Sachindrika Wijesinghe

Eucalypts are 20% of major reforestation plantings for timber and fuelwood. Advantages include adaptability to a wide range of altitudes; climates and sites; high growth rate; tolerance of low fertility. Undergrowth is less (particularly in the dry zone). Reforestation with eucalypts in Sri Lanka has a long and important history. Eucalypts were among the first of three exotics introduced early this century to be raised as a forest plantation species.

Eucalyptus microcorys, a fast growing tree with clear cylindrical bole growing to 40 m, occasionally to 70 m. It is distributed in upcountry wet zone and mid country intermediate zone. Density of Unseasoned timber is 1230 kg/m3 and Seasoned timber is 1,000 kg/m3. It is Special Class timber according to the Sri Lanka State Timber Corporation classification. Sapwood is not durable without proper treatment and susceptible to powder posting beetle attack. The heartwood is very durable, highly resistant to decay and termite attack and ranges from pale to dark yellow-brown.

The textures of the timber is moderately coarse, generally with an interlocked grain relatively free of gum veins, has a distinctive lustre and greasy appearance. Relatively easy to work with hand tools due to the timber’s natural greasiness .Readily accepts paint, stain and polish.

E. microcorys timber is widely used in a variety of applications including decking, flooring, domestic structures, heavy commercial construction, sleepers, marine structures, poles, piles and bridges. Eucalyptus are also planted as windbreaks and shelter belts in certain locations particularly in the upcountry. Extraction of essential oils from leaves and beekeeping is another common practice in some areas where eucalypt plantations are raised.

Green wood plantation is in Badulla with an extent of 30 ha and it is selected based on the unique climatic and soil conditions, which are conducive for the growth of Eucalyptus microcorys. Planting objective is to obtain sawn timber mainly to cater the local market with construction timber.

Value addition can be done through proper silvicultural practices, planting superior clones of hybrids and genetically modified high yielding; disease-free, non-splitting trees which would improve timber quality and quantity within the plantation. Practicing agroforestry In order to obtain short-term income Lemongrass is inter-cropped. And promoting related industries such as beekeeping, extraction of Eucalyptus oils would generate additional income to the company and it maximizes the land use of the area.

Adding organic fertilisers, managing plantations for longer rotational periods, fire management and trench management are some of the eco-friendly management practices that add values to the plantations.


Eucalyptus microcorys plantation at Bambrakele, Sri Lanka

Diptero Plantations: Establishment of a Hora Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Upekha Mandakini

Dipterocarpus zeylanicus, is an endemic tree in Sri Lanka commonly known as Hora. It belongs to the family Dipterocarpaceae, and the genus Dipterocarpus. It is a dominant emergent tree in lowland evergreen rainforests in Sri Lanka. Hora tree grows up to 40-45 m tall and 4- 6 m in circumference. It often grows vigorously in river banks and well-drained alluvium.

The required temperature is between 28–30° C with 1,500-2,500 mm annual rainfall and prefers deep moist soil with pH of 6-7. Thus the wet zone of the country is the more suited.

Hora timber is a very strong and placed under class 1 of State Timber Corporation (Sri Lanka) timber classification. However its durability is much lower, so most of the time Hora timber is used for construction activities as its long length is a prominent character for using construction activates specially as scaffolding. More over it can be used for railway sleepers, rafters, electric posts, beams, joists, heavy types of carpentry work, and suitable for under water work.

“Diptreo Plantations” is a privately owned company established with the objectives of providing traditional timber while protecting natural forests. Income generation and social well being are other objectives of the existence of the company.

The plantation extend is 35 ha and located in Rathnapura district and maintained with intercrops of pepper, areca nut and orchids. This is the only outdoor orchid flowers cultivation in Sri Lanka.

Silvicultural activities will be implemented to obtain high quality timber with the rotation age of 30 years. Areca nut, pepper and cut flowers will generate early income other than the timber of Hora. The orchid cultivation itself also will generate income by the tourist attraction.


A Hora tree



Acacia Plantations Pvt Limited: Establishment of an Acacia Plantation

Abstract of the presentation of
Imalka Hitihamu

An ever-increasing demand for paper combined with a declining fibre supply from the forests is forcing the pulp and paper industry to find technically and economically viable fiber sources to supplement forest based resources. According to the world data records with regard to this implies that today a large amount of paper is produced from various annual plants (non wood fibers) in developing countries where forest resources are limited, For that sense we are making a plantation company for giving a solution to this demand for fibers which are raw materials of the paper and pulp making industry. 

Therefore we are using Acacia auriculiformis tree which suits well to our climatic conditions for come out a better solution for this. Acacia auriculiformis is an evergreen tree that grows between to 15-30 m tall, with a trunk up to 12 m long and 50 cm in diameter. It has dense foliage with an open, spreading crown. The trunk is crooked and the bark vertically fissured. Roots are shallow and spreading. Leaves are 10-16 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide with 3-8 parallel nerves, thick, leathery and curved. Flowers are 8 cm long and in pairs, creamy yellow and sweet scented. Pods are about 6.5x1.5 cm, flat, cartilaginous, transversely veined with undulate margins. Acacia has a high calorific value. Also it has furniture, paper and pulp, medicinal as well as food values.

Land is situated in intermediate zone which provides best climatic and growing conditions to the optimum growth of the tree. Managing this Acacia land management plan will consists seed treatment methods, Nursery applications, Fertilizing, weed controlling and management of workman ship. For the value addition we are practicing intercropping and ginger will be used for this task which grows well in intermediate zone. This will become a successive effort of providing fibers for the paper and pulp industry and also it will become a profit making company.


Acacia auriculifromis tree