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IAS Foundation 2023-24, Batch Starts: 27th July

Seed Balls

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    5th Apr, 2022

Context

Seed Balls are made from clay, seeds and compost or humus.

About

About Seed balls:

  • It is a ball made from clay, seeds and compost or humus.
  • Seed balls are used to replant areas where the natural flora has been destroyed.
  • It is a technique of propagating plants from seeds without opening up the soil using traditional methods like ploughing.
  • Traditional methods of seeding have certain disadvantages.
  • The seed is sown on top of the soil, so it may get dried out by the sun, blown away by strong winds, washed away by rains or eaten by birds.
  • But when seed balls are used, the hard clay casing protects the seeds from excessive heat, winds, heavy rains and nibbling birds.
  • The moisture in the clay of the seed ball helps the seeds to germinate.
  • Additionally, cotton fibres or liquefied paper may be mixed into the seed ball while preparing it, to increase its strength.
  • Using seed balls to replant an area is an ancient technique that was rediscovered and popularized in modern times by Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer.
  • Seed balls are used in seed bombing and aerial reforestation.
  • Environmental activists drop or throw seed balls in arid areas or land that is off limits.
  • This is called seed bombing.
  • In the case of aerial reforestation, planes are used to distribute seed balls over large inaccessible areas such as mountain tops.
  • Seed bombing is widely practised in Africa.
  • The seed bomb is put in a biodegradable container and dropped onto the land, grenade-style.
  • When the seed sprouts, the container biodegrades into the soil.
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