SEED BALL KARNATKA NAVODAYA PROGRAM
This document serves as the guide for carrying out seed ball program across Karnataka
How is Seed Ball implemented?
Seeds can be of two different types such as fruit seed [typically guava, sapota,pomegranate, chiku] and other a shaded tree seed [Neem, Pongemia, Banyan, Jambu].
Seed ball mixture is prepared with the following process:
- Mixing red soil/locally available soil with cow dung (30% of soil) along with cow urine.
- You need to add water to this mixture of soil, cow dung and cow urine (Quantity of water should be sufficient enough to make it like a chapatti floor ). .Don’t add too much or less water.
- Seeds are placed in the middle of a ball made up of mixture of red soil and cow dung.
- Roll it like a laddu by applying sufficient pressure till the smoothness is achieved.
- Seed ball is dried up in shade till it becomes hard.
- This dried, hard Seed ball is then sowed or thrown in waste lands, dry lands, uninhabited lands just before the monsoon or rainy season ( Can start from May 3rd week onwards).
- The rains soak the seed ball; the seeping water germinates the seed inside the seed ball.
- The sprouting seed uses the nutrients of the seed ball and its roots spread inside the land and grows up to become a tree sapling. This sapling grows up to become a big tree.
- As the seed struggles for its survival to grow up into a sapling, the sapling adapts to its environment better than those where a grown sapling is planted.
Significance of materials used in Seed ball:
Cow dung: Provides necessary heat for the germination. Acts as a natural compost and provides microbial inoculants.
Red soil: Rich in potash, high iron contents, organic in nature, and it is porous and friable.
Cow Urine: Nutrients for the seed and Protection from insects.
Selection of raw materials:
- This can make or break the program. Soil should be of nice quality and should be sticky in nature. Else this needs to be sewed to get a fine quality mud.
- Red soil or locally available soil is chosen for this program.
- Preferably cow dung should be in dry format. However, have seen good results with wet cow dung as well. Go with what is available locally.
- It is always a best practice to first mix cow dung and cow urine and then put it to soil.
- If the soil is not in sticky nature or if you want to enhance the sticky nature of the soil, you need to procure the soil one week in advance and put it in shaded place. Form a volcanic shape of the red soil and then put the water in between (Daily twice). This will ensure the red soil absorbs this water and becomes sufficiently sticky in nature to make a seed ball.
- June being rainy season, cover the soil with tarpaul to avoid any over wetting of soil.
- If you need any specific details on the soil selection, the best method is to reach out to a local farmer /respective alumnis/forest officers in your area.
Selection of Place:
- Selection of place where students will sit and make the seed balls should be in shaded location.
- Red/local soil should be unloaded in shaded area.
- Prepared seed balls needs to be dried in a shaded area.
- June being a rainy season, in case of a rain, appropriate place is chosen to ensure the continuity of the program.
Following things needs to be worked in conjunction with forest department:
Selection of Seeds:
- Locally grown seeds are chosen for this exercise.
- Don’t choose more than 4-5 types of seeds for this exercise.
- Discuss with the forest officers for the selection of seeds.
- Quantity/number of seeds may vary based on the weight of the seeds and difficult to quantify the number of seeds.
Note: This is an important step and suggest you to ACT on this step at the earliest. Even though the target is 1 lakh seed ball per navodaya, it is possible to make more than that easily. Hence suggest all the Navodayas to procure more seeds (1.5 lakhs to 2 Lakhs).
Selection of location of disbursement of seed balls:
- The prepared seed balls needs to be disbursed in a scientific manner.
- Suggest you to work with the respective forest department for the identification of location for seed ball disbursement.
- This is a separate exercise and detailed plan needs to be chalked out with forest department.
List of various DFOs across the state is being listed link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B03HkZg4Ax4SczV4aC1FRVVSUXc
Note: For the Karnataka Navodaya seed ball program, Chief conservator of Forest department, Mr. Kishan Singh Sugar (IFS) along with Mr. Sridhar(IFS) and Mr. Sanjay(IFS) has issued direction to all DFOs to support Karnataka Navodaya seed ball program. Principals/ respective
district seed ball coordinators are requested to contact the respective DFOs immediately.
In case, if you don’t get the required support, please reach out to our Navodaya family member Shilpa Shetty on +91-9632839955, firstname.lastname@example.org who is working directly with chief conservative officer in Aranya Bhavan. She will facilitate the required forest department support.