Friday, January 13, 2017

Losing to wild ones; sharecropping with nature







Losing to wild ones; sharecropping with nature 

Have you ever wondered about the percentage of trees in a usual Srilankan garden that is planted by the owners of the garden? I have and  my well educated guess is about 10%. I am not talking about plantations or even small holdings of tea ,coconut or rubber ,but average home gardens in the size of about 20 perches or so.
I live few KMs away from Kandy city, just outside city limits. 

The village I live is not a town neither a city; like many city suburbs in the country nowadays , it’s a cross between a city and a village. When the  Grama sewaka lady told me last week that the population within his area of responsibility is 1520 people, all told, 

I couldn’t believe it. I would have thought our village has that many houses, because any direction you look you can see at least 5/6 houses. I disputed and took my phone out to do a quick calculation. There are 140022 GS divisions in the country. Roughly the population is 2 million , hence  2000000/14022 is 1428 people. so our GS division is very average one just 100 more than average population.

Going back to the subject of sharecropping , I said elsewhere in the post that my estimate of percentage of trees that have not been planted by the owners exceed 90%. Let me give a break down of this estimate of trees in a sample land holding of about 20 perches.
Rata Goraka  01
Palmyra 05
Arca nut   05
Teak   02
Mi 01
Jack 05
Coconut 05
Avocado 01
Mango 01
Nutmeg 01
Garcinia 01
Nawa 01
Unknown vareties 02


Of these trees only the nutmeg tree and  coconut trees have been planted purposefully. I am giving benefit of the doubt to the owners because I know for certain that some of the coconut trees could also have  grown on their own. After failing to collect fallen down nuts from trees. Because I know many coconut trees in our garden, especially in nooks and corners with difficult access are not planted, but grown.
WeIl  I do not know for what reason,we do not cut down trees even if they are not wanted in our garden. Probably because we just don’t bother about them when they are small, and its very expensive to cut a tree when they grow up now. 

The result is that they take up space , compete with useful trees for nutrition, water ,sunlight and space. Useful trees because they are not hardy as the wild ones ,  because wild ones grow from seeds that have won fittest survive  contest. On the other hand useful trees  don’t produce as much as they should because they lose.

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