On international demand for Tobacco leaves and its impact on the native trees lifespan
During my birding & tree sighting trips in Mysore district, Karnataka. I sometime try to know & photograph old and heritage trees. Soon, I find it tough to sight trees and realize there are hardly any trees which are more than 20 years old, other than those found near temples, railway stations, various government premises and exclusive farms. Thanks to the tobacco growers and contractors for they spare no trees. They buy all kinds of trees from villagers, growing anywhere - in the open fields, farms, canal, river edges, schools and even the road side trees. The wood logs are later taken to tobacco auction places in neigbouring places and districts to be burnt in kilns to dry tobacco leaves.
With international demand for the locally grown tobacco (FCV – Flue cured Virginia, Mysore tobacco) leaves increasing and prices soaring from Rs. 48/kg (year 2006) to Rs 95/- (year 2009) and upto Rs. 150/kg this year, there is less chance for the trees to inhabit the earth.
Again, it’s a known fact that once tobacco plants are grown in agricultural fields for couple of years, the land loses its ability to grow other crops.
On another side, the demands of civilization makes the the Govt. to take massive projects like road widening process, highways and bridges in my town which have made countless age old road side trees cut down and leave no trace of its existence.
The nursery run by the forest dept grows & supply saplings recommended by the dept. A good initiative.
We could find Indigenous trees like Mysore fig itself missing in the nursery.
Sometimes I wonder as if the native trees have lost their rights to completing their full life span.
Thanks again to the meddling of human beings. )
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