- What is Agroforestry?
- Direct Benefits of Agro-forestry
- Indirect Benefits of Agro-forestry
- National Agro-Forest policy 2014
- Mock Questions
Topic in news
- 2014, Feb: India becomes first country to have separate policy on agroforestry
- 2014, Oct: Hindu column listing benefits of Agroforestry.
Relevance for Mains exam?
- GS2: Government policies for development of various sectors.
- GS3: (1) Environmental conversation (2) Cropping Patterns.
- The Practice of cultivating trees on farm.
- Along with traditional cropping and animal husbandry.
- Practiced from centuries, in both irrigated and rain fed conditions
- Thus, it’s an integrated tree-based farming system.
- Trees provide food, fodder, wood, fuel and fertilizers.
- Biomass, Biodiesel, Biochar and Biogas production.
- India’s 65% timber needs met through farm grown trees. Hence Agroforestry perhaps the only alternative to achieve 33% tree cover as per National forest policy 1988.
- Above extra incomes provide one type of ‘backup/insurance’ against crop failure, poor monsoon.
- Modi’s suggestion to plant five trees for each girl child birth and later sell the trees to finance marriage ceremony.
- Thus, given the shrinking size of farm-holdings, agroforestry is essential to increase farm income.
- Agriculture land can withstand extreme weather conditions, soil erosion.
- Prevents deforestation, promotes Soil and water conservation, Nutrition recycling
- Supplies raw material to wood based industries => less import of wood=> current account deficit reduced.
Overall, Triple wins:
- Food production increased
- Greenhouse gases decreased
- Climate change averted
|National Forest Policy||1988|
|National Agriculture Policy||2000|
|National Bamboo Mission||2002|
|National Policy on Farmers||2007|
|Green India Mission||2010|
|And finally: national agroforestry Policy||2014, Feb.|
Objectives of the new policy
- Promote agroforestry to increase farm income and reduce climate risk.
- Simultaneously provide raw material to wood based industries.
- Thus create new avenues for rural employment, and reduce pressure on jungle.
Now let’s check how this policy aims to “implement” above objectives.
#2: simplify rules
- At present, multiple rules and regulations by Forest dept, revenue department, the bodies under Forest rights act (FRA), PESA act etc.
- Policy aims to simplify and streamline such rules.
#3: land reform
- Farmer / private sector has no motivation to look after a tree for 10-20 years, if the land rights are not firmly established.
- Therefore, Policy wants state Governments to give settle tenancy rights for farmers, computerization of land records, use satellite imagery to find existing trees in farmland etc.
- This will also help gauging agroforestry’s contribution to GDP and finetune future planning accordingly.
- ICAR’s 30+ centres involved in agroforestry research. But hardly any of their innovations implemented on ground. So, Policy wants two things:
- Setup National Institute of Agroforestry with regional centres in each agro-climatic zones.
- Give farmers quality seeds, technology and guidance.
#5: loan and insurance
- Each state Government will have to make list of 20 trees suitable for agroforestry in their area.
- This will help NABARD, banks and insurance companies to design tailormade loan and insurance products for each region.
#6: fancy things
|Convergence||Among various schemes for rural Development such as MNREGA, Bambo Mission, NRLM, RKVY etc.|
|Awareness||With help of NGOs, SHG, media, Krishivigyan Kendra, cooperatives, ATMA- agro.tech. Management agencies etc.|
MCQ: The tree species used for agroforestry
- Have higher carbon sequestration capacity than forest trees.
- Have higher carbon sequestration capacity than crop and grass system.
- Both A and B
- Neither A nor B
Mains: Answer each in 200 words.
- Agroforestry is an innovative way to help rural India against poverty and unforeseen weather events. Elaborate.
- List the multi-dimensional benefits of Agroforestry.
- What is agroforestry? Describe how it can help in the upliftment of the rural poor? (Similar question on Social forestry in 1993).
- Discus importance of National Agroforestry policy 2014 for rural Development and forest conservation in India.