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The value and position of Agroforestry in the national system remains

ambiguous and undervalued. Comment/Elucidate


Agroforestry is term derived from agriculture and forestry. It describes practices employed by
farmers to cultivate trees on farmland together with crop and animal husbandry. Its essence is of
an integrated tree-based farming system.
It is an instrument of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), catapulted to centre-stage by the Global
Alliance for CSA at the World Climate Summit.
Growing trees on farms is a triple-win strategy for combating simultaneously the challenges of
increasing food production, mitigating greenhouse gases and adapting to climate change.
When strategically applied on a large scale, with appropriate mix of tree species, agroforestry
promotes productive and resilient cropping environments, prevents deforestation, protects
watersheds and enables agricultural land to withstand extreme weather events, and climate
change.
Tree-based systems contribute robustly to livelihoods by providing both tree products and tree
services. The bounties they offer include tree products such as fruit, fodder, fuel, fibre, fertilizer
and timber which add to food and nutritional security, and income generation and insurance
against crop failure. These products are tangible, have money value and are tradable in the
markets.
Trees also generate wealth through the services they provide in the form of soil and water
conservation, nutrient recycling, carbon storage and biodiversity preservation. These services
are intangible, not easy to quantify, and do not lend themselves to monetary valuation. At
present there is no payment for eco-services provided by tree-based farming systems.
Agroforestry would be useful in addressing the needs of fuel, fodder, green leaf manure and
medicinal plants.
Agroforestry has significant potential to provide employment to rural and urban populations
through production, industrial application and value addition ventures.
Agroforestry has the potential for augmenting energy capacity through biomass, biodiesel,
biochar and biogas production. It is also recognised that agroforestry is perhaps the only
alternative to meeting the target of increasing forest green cover.
Despite all this, agroforestry has not become the movement it should have. It has been
disadvantaged by adverse policies and legal bottlenecks.

Its adoption by tenant-farmers is constrained due to insecurity of tenure.


Inadequate investment in the sector is also a cause for neglect. Unlike the credit and insurance
products available for the crop sector, the provisions for growing trees-on-farms are minimal.
Weak marketing infrastructure, absence of price discovery mechanisms and lack of post-harvest
processing technologies further compound the situation.
For a long time the subject fell between the cracks of agriculture and forestry with no
ownership by either sector.
Despite all this, The National Agroforestry Policy has pointed the way forward to foster innovation
in tree-based farming systems, among various stakeholders.
The maiden policy aims to include agroforestry in the mainstream of agricultural policies and
strategies, by promoting it in integrated farming systems.
The absence of a dedicated and focused policy is solved with this policy.
The World Congress on Agroforestry held in Delhi raised significantly the awareness, in terms of
recognition and impact, by roadmap for agroforestry with clear targets.
Policy: http://agricoop.nic.in/imagedefault/whatsnew/Agroforestry.pdf
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/developmental-issues/Properimplementation-of-agroforestry-policy-a-big-challenge/articleshow/30580278.cms
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/for-a-tree-on-every-field-boundary/article6503712.ece?
homepage=true
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/agroforestry-needs-more-investmentpranab/article5673509.ece?ref=relatedNews
Agro-Forestry Policy Highlights:

Inclusion of trees in farming systems and their management in rural landscapes to

enhance productivity, profitability, diversity and ecosystem sustainability


Enhance ecosystems through carbon storage, mitigate climate change effects, prevent

deforestation, improve biodiversity, provide cleaner water and reduce land erosion
Maintenance of green cover on farmlands throughout the year
Significant potential to provide employment to rural and urban population through
production, industrial application and value addition ventures. Current estimates show
about 64% of country's timber requirement is met from trees grown on farms

Augmenting energy capacity through biomass, biodiesel, ethanol, bio-char and biogas
production. Bio-fuel generation in degraded and marginal lands is being taken up on an

experimental basis
Only alternative to meet target of increasing forest cover to 33% from present level of 20%

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