Simarouba (Lakshmi Taru) ecofriendly tree with well-developed root system and with evergreen dense canopy efficiently checks soil erosion, recharges groundwater, supports soil microbial life, and improves soil fertility. The addition of biomass to wasteland @ 10-15 tonnes/ha/year helps in the improvement of soil health and fertility in a natural course. Lakshmi taru has a wide range of adaptability. It grows reasonably well in areas with more than 300 mm erratic rainfall and withstands summer temperatures up to 48-500C. It can grow well in soils with 5.5-8.5 pH without any amendment. Its cultivation effectively combats desertification of wasteland. By improving the bioproductivity and economic productivity, it facilitates wasteland reclamation. It can be introduced in marginal and wastelands in semi arid and arid tropics all over the world including central African and gulf countries. The cultivation of Lakshmi taru does not require excessive application of chemical fertilizers. It is a tree with no major pests and diseases and thus requires no pesticide application. Thus its cultivation does not add harmful agrochemicals to the environment. It evergreens the gray soil surface, harnesses abundantly available solar energy (which is otherwise going waste now) and converts it into biochemical energy all round the year. Simarouba checks overheating of the soil surface all through the year and particularly during summer. Large scale planting of simarouba in the marginal/wastelands utilizes harmful green house gases, checks their accumulation in the environment and helps enormously in reducing global warming. For a long-term strategy, cultivation of versatile tree simarouba, Lakshmi taru is advocated in the abundantly available marginal/wastelands in arid and semi-arid tropics and its implementation shall be economically viable and ecologically sustainable.


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