Environmentalist Sundaram Verma who hails from Rajasthan got conferred with the most honorable Padma Shri award for successfully growing 50,000 trees in an arid region of Rajasthan with 100% survival rate using a brilliant technique that requires only one-liter water per tree. The 68-year-old farmer Verma has already grown 50,000 trees with this wonderful technique called dryland agroforestry.
It all started when Verma had planted some saplings on the borders of his 17-acre farm. Because of insufficient water, the pants died during the summer season. Later, he dug holes during the monsoons and planted some saplings of neem, chili, and coriander. But this time, Verma has planted the saplings closer to his home. But, he forgot to water the saplings even then. However, to his surprise, the plants survived without a single drop of water. After conducting some experiments, Verma finally found the technique to grow trees with 1-liter water.
His method of farming includes leveling the farmland, plowing the fields to remove the weeds and capillaries followed by deep plowing and digging pits of one-feet-deep and 4-5 inches wide. Finally, he will plant the saplings in the pits and ensure that the roots are at least 20 cm below the surface. He only pours one liter of water in the pit and allows the plants to grow. Interestingly, nearly a decade ago, he planted 600 saplings of pomegranate in one hectare of the land using one liter of water. The survival rate of his trees is 100 percent.