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|Title:||Kusum – Multipurpose Tree, Yet Not Popular|
THERE are many trees that are grown for multiple products. They are known as multipurpose trees (MPTs), a term widely used in agro-forestry. While such trees provide shade, habitat for organisms, soil improvement, etc, many useful products are also obtained from them such as fruits, nuts and leaves as food as well as timber, firewood and variety of metabolic chemicals, which may be used in the form of home remedies and for traditional medicine. Thus MPTs fulfill more than one basic need of human beings and have a high impact on food and health security of farmers, especially those living in and around the rural and forest areas. Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Oken, commonly known as lac tree or kusum, is a forest tree species of tropical and subtropical region. The tree is utilized for multifarious purposes and is a boon for a subsistence farmer. The extended foliage and canopy of the kusum tree provides good shade and is suitable for mixed farming with other heat susceptible economic plants. The tree is commonly known to host lac insects (Kerria lacca Kerr.) for production of natural, biodegradable and commercially important lac resins that serve as a livelihood support to millions of poor farmers in states like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Various plant parts of kusum are either a favorite pick of traditional vaids for indigenous therapies and medicine or a source of food, animal feed, timber and oil. Oil and timber are utilized in small-scale industries. The kusum tree is also grown as an avenue tree or wayside tree.
|Appears in Collections:||SR Vol.47(02) [February 2010]|
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