OF FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT IN EIGHT IRRIGATION SCHEMES IN THE MONARAGALA
survey conducted on a sample of 500 settlement units shows one common
feature; that though the settlers often have three types of land holdings
the settlement plot, lowland paddy plot and upland rainfed field crop
plot, tree planting is confined to the settlement plot.
There are many differences however. Traditional village settlements have
more conventional home garden trees, than planted commercial timber species.
In exclusively irrigation projects with ample forest land available for
chena farming, the settlers can afford to use their settlement plots for
growing of marketable timber trees of commercial value like Teak and Halmilla
in addition to conventional home garden species. With decreasing rainfall,
the home garden tree species change from Kitul, Bread- fruit, Jak, Mango,
to Margosa and Drumstick.
Residual forest species found are Satin, Kon, Damunu and Ketakella because
they propagate from roots/stumps. Handapanagala scheme is of special significance
as it is one where promotion of coconut on a commercial scale was not
successful due to soil and moisture problems. Self sufficiency in fuelwood
from own settlement plots ranges from 22% to 73% and there is no special
effort to improve self sufficiency by growing fuelwood or improving use
efficiency. Use of Illuk which is a forest product for roofing is from
3% to 57%.
The level of forestry technology is poor and available extension is scanty,
making forestry development possible and necessary. Inter-scheme differences
are such that each scheme warrants independent treatment in planning such
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.