"We have decided to distribute around 35 lakh saplings of popular plants to farmers in the winter season," Secretary Environment and Forest Deepak Kumar Singh said.
      
Popular plant known for producing soft wood that are used in making of plywood, match sticks etc. are grown in abundance in agro rich states like Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, he said.
     
Last year 4.5 lakh popular plants were distributed to farmers, but given its usefulness the department has decided to go for mass scale cultivation of the plant, Around 35 lakh saplings of popular plants would be distributed among farmers from coming November to February out of which 25 lakh high quality sapling of the popular plant would be purchased from Haryana,
 Singh added.
         
The Forest Department Secretary said that encouragement to agro-forestry was part of the efforts to achieve state government's target of increasing share of forest in the state from 9.7 percent at present to 15 percent by 2017.
    
The department is expecting that in the coming report of Forest Survey of India (FSI) forest coverage of Bihar will rise to 10.3 percent. The report is expected in a month or two.
     
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is taking personal interest in the subject. The CM had flagged off Hariyali rath last week which would cover different parts of Bihar for a month and make people aware of aforestation through street dramas and speeches.

(Agencies)

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