Tree breeders of ITC
Bhadrachalam employed tree breeding science with the seeds which were imported
from CSIRO, Australia, and USAID, Hawaii, apart from indigenous source for
introduction of germplasm for selection and improvement.
- Plus trees with superior desirable qualities were
selected from the existing plantations in the country. More than 1,000
Candidate Plus Trees of Eucalyptus, 240 of Casuarina & 241 of Leucaena were
selected for improvement.
- Selected plus trees were tested in 159 multi
locational trials spread over 36 hectares area under different
agro-climatic conditions in Andhra Pradesh.
- 107 promising seedlings of Eucalyptus, 15 of Casuarina & 12 of subabul were short listed for mass multiplication and
As a result of research, spectacular achievements were discernible
- The productivity of the high yielding, vegetatively propagated plantations
improved from 20 to 58 tonnes per hectare per annum, which is 3 to 6 time
higher compared to seed route plantations with 6 to 10 tonnes per hectares per
- The survival rate of these plantation is greater
than 95% compared to 40 to 60% from traditional seed route plantations.
- The harvesting period has been reduced from 7 years
to 4 or 3 years.
Root trainer technology ensured low handling and transportation cost in
comparison to traditional polythene bag nurseries.
Multi-locational field testing of the seedlings was a critical important step for
selection of fast growing and disease resistant trees. In Indian
forestry, for the first time site specific (sites with black, red, alkaline
soils) seedlings were identified and given to growers for planting.
The Infrastructure for plant production consists of 36 ha of Testing Areas, 30 ha of Multiplication Areas and 24 ha of Demonstration Plots. Further, 3 hectares of Seed Orchard with high
yielding seedlings was also established. A new state of the art seedling production
centre was established with a capacity of 15 million plants recently. The
production capacity of 10 million for eucalyptus and 5 million for subabul plants was created by establishing 120 mist chambers in 12000 square
meters area, Hardening area in 5000 square meters and Open Nursery in 100,000
square meters. Improved package of practices such as land development, wider
spacing, ploughing, inter cropping, application of mychorrhiza, irrigation and
fertilization, pest and disease management lead to higher survival, growth and
bumper yields to the farmers.
Effective extension services and competent technical guidance is provided
by ITC Managers to the growers from planting till harvest. Laboratory and
research assistance is provided to the needy farmers. Regular meetings are
conducted to address the problems faced by the farmers. Farmers are happy
that they have an assured market with ITC which provides buy back of
plantation wood at prevailing market prices.
Greening waste lands is another facet of ITC’s strategy. Hilly,
rocky, boulder ridden, waterlogged, river islands, refractive waste lands have
been put to productive use by planting “ITC Bhadrachalam” seedlings.
In a span of more
than 2 decades, the skyline has changed with the spread of uniform plantations of Eucalyptus, Casuarina and Subabul plantations covering an area
of more than 2,25,000 ha. The pioneering efforts have led to the
adoption of “ITC Bhadrachalam” seedlings by farmers, forest departments, forest
development corporations and various paper mills across India. Such large
scale acceptance and adoption of the high yielding, vegetatively propagated trees redefined productivity and
profitability of pulp wood plantation species..