A new type of green revolution has begun in Gujarat. Three years ago, the 13 Milk Unions of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (better known as Amul) decided to launch a mass tree plantation programme involving each and every member milk producer. Accordingly, in 2007 the first year of the project Amul milk producers planted 18.9 lacs trees across 14,000 villages in Gujarat, on “One member, One tree” basis.
Learning from the thumping success, the programme was up scaled in the year 2008. All the Member Unions of GCMMF unanimously decided to plant minimum three trees per member milk producer. Accordingly, saplings were provided in each district where dairy cooperatives are located, village by village and farmer by farmer, oath was taken to ensure that the sapling grew into a tree. Mass tree plantation was carried out in 14,000 villages all across Gujarat on 15th of August, 2009. Approximately 52.74 lacs trees were planted by milk producer members of Amul.
In the third year of this mass movement, the programme has been further scaled up and enhanced the growth of tree cover faster. With active participation from Milk Unions, 127 nurseries have been set up all over Gujarat with necessary tools and equipment. Distribution of saplings were arranged as per choice of farmers. They were encouraged to select the place and prepare the land for the plantation in advance. Milk producer members actively participated in the event. As a result, approximately 84.04 lac trees were planted on 15th August 2009 on “One member, Five tree” basis.
This year, 29 lakh milk producer members of Amul took up mass tree plantation campaign again and planted 100 lacs trees on 15th August 2010 on “One member, Five tree” basis. They have also planted various fruit and fodder trees to enhance nutrition and fodder availability in villages .
The type of trees that were planted were Neem, Mango, Chickoo, Babul, Subabul, Sargavo, Banyan, Peepal, Imli, Ber, Gulmohar, etc.
All the Board members of Village Dairy Cooperatives and District Milk Unions actively participated in making this unique movement a grand success. The Board of the Federation is determined to further upscale this experiment next year and turn Gujarat into the greenest state of India.
As a mark of recognition for these efforts, Amul was conferred the following international and national awards this year :
(a) On 28th April, 2010 Amul had received International Dairy Federation Award for the best environmental initiative in the “sustainability category” during the 4th Global Dairy Conference held at Salzburg Congress Centre, Salsburg, Austria.
(b) On 22nd April 2010, Amul has also bagged the prestigious Srishti G-Cube Award for Good Green Governance in the service category at New Delhi. H.E. Shri Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, Hon’ble Governor of Orissa presented the award.
It may be recalled that Amul had a humble beginning of two Village Dairy Cooperative Societies collecting 247 litres of milk in 1946 which has now grown to over 14000 Village Dairy Cooperative Societies collecting more than one crore litres of milk per day. Similarly, the tree plantation drive which had started with 18.9 lakh saplings in 2007 has now grown into a mass tree plantation drive with plantation of one crores saplings in 2010 thereby leading the way for greening Gujarat for posterity.