On Sunday, November 14, 2021, India’s first grass conservatory, with a two-acre footprint, opened in Ranikhet, Almora district of Uttarakhand. The conservatory was built in three years by the Uttarakhand Forest Department’s research arm with funding from the Central Government’s CAMPA scheme.
What is a grass conservatory?
In the protection area, almost 90 different grass species of major scientific, ecological, medicinal, and cultural importance have been grown. There are seven different types of grass species in the protected area, including those used for fragrant, medicinal, feed, ornamental, agricultural, and religious purposes. The project’s goal is to raise awareness about grass species’ value, encourage their protection, and make field research easier.
What is the need for grass conservatory?
It’s also crucial because grasslands are under assault from a variety of sources, and their acreage is declining, putting an entire ecosystem of insects, birds, and mammals that rely on them in jeopardy. Because of their nutritious grain and soil-forming function, grasses are the most economically important of all flowering plants. The endeavour is significant since recent research has shown that grasslands are more effective at ‘carbon sequestration’ than forest areas.
Thysanolaena, popularly known as Tiger grass or Broom grass, is a valuable fodder grass found in Uttarakhand along steep slopes, ravines, and sandy riverbanks up to an elevation of 2000 metres.
Broom is made from its dry blooming stocks. Because it is a perennial species, it can be utilised as green fodder all year. It also aids in soil erosion prevention on steep hillsides and is employed in land restoration.
Pennisetum Purpureum, often known as Elephant grass or Napier grass, makes a great contour hedgerow as well as bank and pasture feed. Used for firebreaks, windbreaks, and bio-oil, biogas, and charcoal production.
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