Alar City, First Division of the Corps: A new hope in ecologically fragile areas

Date: 05 Jun,2022 Views: 104

Recently, Sinoway Forest Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., together with researchers from Shaanxi University of Technology, came to Ganquan Town, Third Regiment, Alar City, First Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps to carry out the first round of 6,000-mu aerial seeding trial for the 300,000-mu afforestation project, finding a "home" for more than 30 tons of "seed balls".

Planting a tree takes a long time, and it takes even longer to grow into a forest, not to mention planting trees in the desolate Gobi Desert......Recently, Sinoway Forest Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., together with researchers from Shaanxi University of Technology, came to Ganquan Town, Third Regiment, Alar City, First Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps to carry out the first round of 6,000-mu aerial seeding trial for the 300,000-mu afforestation project, finding a "home" for more than 30 tons of "seed balls".

生A new hope in ecologically fragile areas

In recent years, in order to effectively improve the vegetation density of the Gobi Desert and enhance the ability of wind prevention and sand fixation, Alar City has actively taken greening measures. Currently, the forest coverage rate in the area of Ganquan Town in the Third Regiment has exceeded 40%, but there are still 158,700 mu of sandy and saline land, which is one of the key ecological targets of Alar City. The implementation of large-scale afforestation with the new aerial seeding technology has brought new hope to the ecologically fragile and sparsely vegetated areas of Ganquan Town in the Third Regiment.

It is understood that this afforestation project, with a total area of 300,000 mu, has a total investment of about CNY 135 million during the construction period. After the completion of the project, a green ecological barrier of 300,000 mu (Phase I) combining trees, shrubs and grass will be formed, and the vegetation coverage will be greatly improved.

Wang Xinpeng, general manager of Sinoway Forest Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. said: "This trial is the first attempt by Sinoway in China from the production of 'seed ball' to the selection of aerial seeding mode."

This trial covers an area of 6,000 mu, and the "seed ball" used is mainly composed of mixed seeds of diversiform-leaved poplar, rose willow, ulmus pumila, and robinia.

In order to adapt to the arid and rainless natural environment in Xinjiang and improve the survival rate of seeds, "seed balls" are all coated with red clay, coconut bran, organic soil, etc., with a diameter of 5cm, a thickness of 3cm, and a weight of about 50-55g. Red clay can provide a better soil environment for seeds, and coconut bran has the function of storing and retaining water, which can quickly absorb and retain water in case of rain, thus providing favorable conditions for seed germination in the seed ball.

A new leap in the quality of ecological construction

The aerial seeding trial is operated by Sinoway Forest Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., which is committed to the construction and investment of green projects such as artificial afforestation, seedling cultivation, forestry governance, afforestation technology R&D and promotion. The aerial seeding technology is leading in the country. After the end of this test cycle, the company will immediately start the construction of a second- class national public welfare forest of about 300,000 mu in Ganquan Town in the Third Regiment. In the next three to five years, the company plans to complete aerial seeding afforestation of 1 million mu in the whole southern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

For a long time, Ganquan Town of the Third Regiment has been making unremitting efforts in afforestation. For example, it has successively carried out projects such as the construction of the "Three-North" Shelter Forestation Project, the closure of hillside for afforestation, and the restoration of degraded forests in the "Tahe" basin, continuously tapping its inherent potential to explore new methods of water-saving greening.

Luo Lixin, Director of the Agricultural Development Service Center in Ganquan Town, the Third Regiment, said, "In terms of ecological protection, we have set up drip irrigation belts on the Gobi Desert, using drip irrigation to achieve water-saving effects. Currently, the rose willow and diversiform-leaved poplar trees are growing well. The ecological environment has been preliminarily improved. This year, we reached an agreement with Sinoway Forest Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. to carry out aerial seeding afforestation in our regiment. Once the results are achieved, the ecological construction of Ganquan Town in the Third Regiment will make a qualitative leap."

Afforestation is a great event that will benefit our future generations. In recent years, Alar City has actively practiced the concept of "clear waters and green mountains are as good as mountains of gold and silver" and placed ecological civilization construction in an important position. This aerial seeding afforestation is to achieve wind-proof and sand-fixing operations by increasing forest coverage and vegetation density, so as to ensure the smooth agricultural production.

Contributing to ‘dual carbon goals’

At the aerial seeding site, a fixed-wing aircraft carrying 800kg of "seed balls" scattered the balls in a mode like "the heavenly maids scatter blossoms" to the Gobi Desert, bringing green hope to this land. It is speculated that about 150 "seed balls" are sown per mu of land, and it only takes about 30 seconds for 160 mu of sandy land to complete the sowing operation.

The treatment technology of "seed ball" is provided by Shaanxi University of Technology, which is mainly responsible for the selection of tree species, the monitoring of future seedling growth, the control of diseases and insect pests, and the evaluation of ecological and economic benefits after forest formation. On the same day, Dr. Zeng Haitao, director of the Institute of Forestry Biotechnology of the university, also attended the scene.

Dr. Zeng Haitao said: "Planting a tree can fix 5-10 kg of carbon a year. The adoption of aerial seeding afforestation technology provides a solid guarantee for the smooth realization of the 'dual carbon' goal in Alar City of the First Division."

At the same time, the cost of artificial afforestation has been greatly reduced by aerial seeding in Ganquan Town in the Third Regiment. In view of the serious problem of wind and sand in the northern margin of Tarim Basin, the popularization of aerial seeding afforestation technology is contributing to the national ecological cause.

Wang Xinpeng said: "After the forest is formed, we hope to generate certain economic benefits for the enterprise through the development of 'Forestry Carbon Sink', and the income from this area will continue to be used to expand the tree planting area in the surrounding areas, so as to continue to carry out aerial seeding afforestation in Xinjiang."  (Source: Alar City Media Center, First Division of Corps | Author: Sun Jie, Bayin Mengke)