Acacia nilotica is a multipurpose tree: it provides TIMBER, FUEL, SHADE, FOOD, FODDER, HONEY, DYE, GUM and FENCES.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT : Soil improvement and reclamation. Acacia nilotica is an N-fixing legume that can be grown with grass or cereal crops in order to enhance their N value. It is used as a pioneer species in the reclamation of mining areas and in areas where degradation and erosion have occurred, an example being the Chambal ravines in India.
FORAGE MANAGEMENT : The trees are browsed by livestock or lopped for fodder. Pods can be eaten on the ground or browsed by livestock or collected to be fed on the farm. The forage management of Acacia nilotica can be quite complex as various parts of the plants are used at different periods of the year for different types of animals. For instance, an extensive survey carried out in Djibouti on Acacia nilotica subsp. tormentosa describes how the foliage, flowers and pods are used by Afar communities to feed sheep, goats and camels.
SEED GERMINATION PERCENTAGE : 80 to 90 %,
GERMINATION PERIOD IN DAYS : 7 to 30 days
PRETREATMENT : Soaking in cold water for 48 hours at room temperature; OR immersing the seeds in hot water at 800C and allowing it to soak until cool; OR keeping the seed in moist cowdung heap for 2 to 3 days; OR in conc. H2SO2 for 10 to 14 minutes. Treated seeds should be sown immediately.
NURSERY TECHNIQUE : Seedlings are raised in polythene bags by sowing the treated seeds about 1.5 cms deep .Excess watering is avoided after 2 months. Shade is provided to avoid surface cracking.