The plantation drive will be undertaken by two NGOs from India and the US.
The Dehradun-based Sustainable Green Initiative and the United States-based One Tree Planted will execute the programme together with the involvement of local communities in the land of small and marginal farmers countrywide, SGI founder Raj Mohan said.
Trees to be planted during the drive include moringa, papaya, banana, lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach and jujubes, he said.
The SGI has planted 30,100 fruit trees in ten villages in Saklana range of Uttarakhand’s Tehri Garhwal district, he said.
The initiative is intended to not just expand the green cover but also create sustainable livelihood for the rural populace.
Fruit trees will not only provide nourishment but also supplement income of small farmers, he said.
Moringa, papaya, and banana trees can produce food and fruit within 8-10 months of planting. Lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach, and jujubes produce fruit in their third year and onwards, he said.
The long-term benefit is immense. Each tree provides a minimum of Rs 1000 per year, half a million fruit trees translate into Rs 50 crore worth of fruit and nutrition, year after year for the next 50-60 years, the SGI founder said.
Beyond the nutritional and social benefits of reforestation with fruit trees, this project will support cleaner air and help reduce the effects of climate change.
The planting and nurturing of fruit trees will be executed by local partners at Sustainable Green Initiative with whom One Tree Planted has already planted over 300,000 trees throughout India.