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Miyawaki Method in Kerala

  • 10 Jan 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in news?

Kerala has decided to use the Japanese Miyawaki method of afforestation.

  • Earlier, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana and some other states adopted this method.
  • The replication of the model across Kerala, which has suffered floods, landslides and soil erosion, assumes significance with the Rebuild Kerala initiative on.

Key Points

  • The Miyawaki method has revolutionised the concept of urban afforestation by turning backyards into mini-forests.
  • Regardless of soil and climatic conditions it has helped create more than 3,000 forests all over the world.
  • It creates a dense forest in just 20 to 30 years, while through conventional methods it takes anywhere between 200 to 300 years.
  • Forests grow 10 times faster and 30 times denser.
  • The saplings become self-sustainable after the first three years.

Miyawaki Process

  • The native trees of the region are identified and divided into four layers — shrub, sub-tree, tree, and canopy.
  • The quality of soil is analysed and biomass which would help enhance the perforation capacity, water retention capacity, and nutrients in it, is mixed with it.
  • A mound is built with the soil and the seeds are planted at a very high density. The ground is covered with a thick layer of mulch.
  • Multi-layered saplings are planted close to each other. This blocks sunlight from reaching the ground and prevents weeds from growing, thus keeping the soil moist. The close cropping further ensures that the plants receive sunlight only from the top thus enabling them to grow upwards rather than sideways.
  • This is one of the reasons why the saplings grow tall in a short span of time.


  • Such forests lack some qualities of natural forests, such as medicinal properties and the ability to bring rain.
  • Such fast-growing plantations are actually wood lots (a parcel of a woodland or forest capable of small-scale production of forest products (such as wood fuel, sap for maple syrup, sawlogs, and pulpwood) and cannot be termed as forests.
  • Several environmentalists have questioned the efficacy of the method that accelerates the growth of trees and claims to match a forest’s complex ecosystem (as it is not a good idea to force plants to photosynthesize fast).
  • Environmentalists also pointed out that the technique was started by the Japanese considering the climate in Japan and the regular occurrence of natural calamities like earthquakes. But, the method is not good for a tropical country like India.

Source: TH

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