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Promoting Agroforestry for Environmental Conservation and Livelihoods

Agroforestry integrates trees with agriculture, offering environmental conservation and livelihood benefits. It enhances biodiversity, mitigates climate change, and improves soil and water quality. Agroforestry diversifies income through timber, fruits, and non-timber forest products, reducing input costs and enhancing farm profitability. It fosters community development and social cohesion, reducing dependence on a single crop or income source.

Eashani Chettri
Agroforestry integrates trees with agriculture
Agroforestry integrates trees with agriculture

Agroforestry integrates trees with agriculture, offering environmental conservation and livelihood benefits. It enhances biodiversity, mitigates climate change, and improves soil and water quality. Trees provide shade, windbreaks, and natural pest control, increasing farm productivity and resilience.

 

Agroforestry systems diversify income through timber, fruits, and non-timber forest products. They reduce input costs and enhance farm profitability. Agroforestry fosters community development, knowledge sharing, and social cohesion, reducing dependence on a single crop or income source.

Why Agroforestry? 

Agroforestry's environmental benefits include carbon sequestration, ecosystem stability, and improved water quality. By integrating trees, agroforestry conserves biodiversity, mitigates climate change, and prevents erosion. Farmers practicing agroforestry can improve their livelihoods by diversifying income streams, increasing overall farm productivity, and implementing sustainable land management practices.

Agroforestry in India

In order to encourage employment, productivity, and environmental preservation, India became the first nation to embrace agroforestry policy in 2014 with the National Agroforestry Policy (NAP).

The goal of promoting agroforestry in India was stressed by the Indian finance minister in the 2022–23 government budget.

However, the SMAF and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna were combined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, depriving the agroforestry sector of its premier implementation arm.

 

Features of the NAP

Encourage agroforestry to improve farm income and rural households' quality of life, particularly for small and marginal farmers.

To reduce risk during catastrophic climatic events, protect and stabilize ecosystems, and create resilient agricultural and farming systems.

simultaneously supply wood-based industries with raw materials. As a result, there will be more opportunities for rural employment and less stress on the forests.

to establish a strong people's movement for attaining these goals while strengthening agroforestry research capacity.

Agroforestry across the Globe

Agroforestry can assist the world meet its climate-related international commitments to increase carbon sinks by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2070.

It will assist in addressing desertification and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets.

What are the issues with traditional farming?

Firstly- natural calamities like heavy rains, drought, hailstorms, forest fires, floods and so on may affect agricultural productivity.

The problems like post-harvest losses, and unavailability of proper marketing are other problems that can be further aggravated. 

A new set of issues includes the conflict between humans and wildlife and between humans and crops, forest fires, a lack of organic matter in the soil, monoculture, plant disease and infestation, migration, and the resistance of young people to agriculture- are many other problems currently plaguing agriculture.

 

Economic Benefits of Agroforestry

Fruit, fodder, fuel, fiber, fertilizer, and lumber all contribute to increased food and nutritional security, revenue production, and crop failure insurance.

It gives landowners an alternative to using family labor to manage their agricultural land.

Social Benefits of Agroforestry

Agroforestry raises living standards by providing greater and more reliable revenue.

Village independence will be a reality.

Promoting agroforestry requires supportive policies, capacity-building programs, and awareness campaigns. Embracing agroforestry can lead us toward a more sustainable and resilient future.

 

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