How seeds are planted from a helicopter or with darts

News:The Delhi High Court has asked the forest authorities whether planting of seeds could be done by throwing dart shots containing them from helicopters into forest areas.


What is Aerial Seeding?

  • Aerial seeding is a technique of sowing seeds by spraying them through aerial mechanical means such as a drone,plane or helicopter.
  • Aerial seeding is adopted because it is quicker and more effective than planting manually.It also allows access to areas where the terrain is rocky or at high elevation.
  • However,Aerial Seeding is generally achieved not with darts but by spraying seeds through an aircraft or a drone.

About Dart Seeding:

  • Dart seeding is used with the same broad objective as aerial seeding for a plantation in inaccessible areas.The process involves throwing darts containing seeds onto open ground.
  • A variation of dart seeding was used in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the late 1990s but not with a helicopter.
  • Under Dart Seeding,the Forest Department used a long iron rod to access ground that could not be reached due to thick cover of shrubs.Seeds were put into the rod,which had a small opening at the other end. 
  • When the rod was inserted and then removed,the soil would cover the seed unlike in aerial plantation when seeds are thrown into open ground. 
  • Hence,if dart plantation is done from a low-flying helicopter,seeds have a relatively better chance of survival as they reach deeper into the ground.