Lakshmi Taru tree answer to climate change problems: experts

Published: Sunday, April 15, 2007, 12:34 [IST]
 

Mumbai, Apr 15 (UNI) As the UN grapples with the question of global warming and Maharashtra battles with power conservation, a quiet revolution is simmering in rural areas of the country.

The answer to the greenhouse gas emissions and climate change has already started taking roots in 'Simarouba Glacua', christened as 'Lakshmi Taru' by spiritual guru Sri Ravi Shankar, and is also known as paradise tree.

'Lakshmi Taru', an evergreen tropical tree bearing oilseeds, can meet edible, industrial and bio-fuel needs of the world as a renewable source. Because of its high productivity levels, it can save India's crores of foreign exchange money and also earn revenue via exports, experts with Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SSIAST), Bangalore, said.

''The 'Lakshmi' Taru tree reclaims wastelands, arrests soil erosion, and increases ground water levels and provides sturdy, insect-resistant timber. It utilizes solar energy and converts it into bio-energy. It efficiently uses greenhouse gases for its own growth and sustenance,'' said Dr Shyam Sunder Joshi, former Head of Department of Botany at the University of Agricultural Sciences, GVKV, Bangalore.

Dr Joshi and his wife are working voluntarily for the propagation of this 'miracle tree' in India.

The tree bears seeds that provide bio-diesel, particle-boards, fuel and oilcakes that are good as organic manure, pulp and leaf litter that serve as vermicompost and fruits that provide beverage and jams.

The tree can be suitably used by a nation that spends a huge chunk of its revenue on importing edible and petroleum oils.

The tree is also a medical boon for it relieves pain, fever, dysentery, stops bleeding, fights malaria, improves haemoglobin and checks blood sugar.

Rakesh Talwar, 38, a corporate chef in Mumbai, gave away 700 saplings of the tree to his friends during Ganpati celebrations last year. ''This is the best way I can help in reducing soaring temperatures,'' Mr Talwar said.

Brought from the tropical forests of Central America, 'Lakshmi Taru' tree has now brought about a significant change in Maharashtra as well.

Dr Joshi says ''Sangli in Maharashtra has Lakshmi Taru plantations. The Art of Living Foundation is now working with it in Solapur. Both are arid areas. The contribution of the tree has been acknowledged by the National Oilseed and Vegetable Oil Development Board under the Ministry of Agriculture.'' SSIAST distributed over 2,000 kg of seeds across the country last year. This year their target is 5 lakh trees. The distribution will start next months.

UNI


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