The Parsi community launches a massive project to grow Babul trees

Had no idea about this. Parsis in their fire temples use wood from babul trees as the wood lasts longer. The prices of the babul wood has zoomed in recent years leading to some action from the community entrepreneurs:

There are about 100 Zoroastrian agiaries (fire temples) all over India — 40 of them in Mumbai — in which the holy fire never stops burning. Parsi Zoroastrians make offerings of fragrant sandalwood to keep the flame alive, but the bulk of the fuel comes from basic wood (kathi) from the Bawal tree (Acacia arabica, also known as the Babul), which is slow-burning and perfect for a sustained flame.

That slow-burning quality, however, makes Bawal wood attractive to others — for instance, bakeries which use wood-fired ovens — says Noshirwan Mistry, an agriculture expert. Consequently, prices have risen nearly five-fold over the last decade.

Concerned about the increasing cost, and the possibility of supply falling short or even running out, some religious Parsis have been working on ways to solve the problem.

 An anjuman (a Parsi community organisation) in Vyara, Gujarat, began planting Bawals on community land. Now, a Mumbai-based group has come forward to make the movement bigger. Burjor Antia, an advocate and a former trustee of the Bombay Parsi Panchayat, Mr. Mistry and a few others have formed a public charitable trust, Amardad Kathi Trust, for a drive across States.

Once the project takes off, the trust plans to expand to other States where the community owns land.

It takes 10-12 years for a desi Bawal to mature into a usable tree.

 Hmm..Always nice to know about these basic facts.


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