KHEJRI (Prosopis cineraria) is nature's best gift to the farmers of Rajasthan and Haryana for it not only thrives in drought conditions and in poor soils, but also encourages the growth of crops planted near it if its lateral roots are pruned (Changing Villages, Vol 12, No 1).
Scientists at the Forest Research Institute in Dehra Dun found farmers who had removed the tree's lateral roots as they impeded ploughing, obtained healthier crops. And, pruning of the roots doesn't appear to adversely affect the growth of the trees themselves, they say. Besides, as legumes, the trees also fix atmospheric nitrogen and return it to the soil.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.