Importance and Classification of Agro- Forestry
Importance of Agro- forestry:
1. Meeting the Needs of the Farmer:
Agro – forestry is primarily aimed at running the basic needs of food, fuel, fodder and timber besides, helping the farmer in increasing productivity and sustainability of production, particularly from marginal agricultural land. There are global crisis for energy and agro forestry provides and alternate sources of energy. Trees supply cheap sources of fuel wood. Fruits and timber yielding trees would help in enriching the diet of rural people and in meeting the demand for timber.
2. Conserving Soil and Water:
Agro – forestry is an answer to the problem of soil and water conservation. Annual los of soil due to erosion is 16.4 t / ha/ year. Agro- forestry achieving – erosion control barrier and the cover approach. Trees species act as barrier of cover and check run off water and suspended sediments. Species composition of grasses play and important role in controlling run off, soil loss and water infiltration. Integrating trees species with grasses, thus, reduce soil and water loss. Deep- rooted trees planted along the contours and hedge with cover help in soil stabilization and reduction of land slide problems.
3. Maintain Ace of Soil Fertility:
Maintaining soil organic matter, augment N fix nation and promote efficient nutrient cycling green leaf manure etc. Leucaena is help in improving soil fertility. Agro forestry can also be used to break the impermeable layer in certain soils.
4. Controlling Stalinization and Water Logging:
Deep rooted tree species assist in reclamation of alkaline, shading effect retards evaporation. Flooded soils by penetrating improve the soil layers. Some of the trees Prosopis juliflora and grass species (Diplachne fusca are found to be tolerant to saline and alkaline condition.
5. Positive Environmental Iimpact:
Moderation of microclimate in the vicinity of trees. Planting rows of tress on the field boundaries has beneficial influence as wind breaks in protecting the crops. Also maintain balance in Oxygen – co2, atmosphere temperature and relative humidity.
6. Alternate Land use for Marginal and Degusted Lands:
In arid and semi arid of India, aerable farming not a stable enterprises due to poor yields and uncertain of rainfall. Hence alternate land use system like agro forestry in marginal lands. Trees and grasses use the off- season precipitation and also protect land from erosion.
Important multi – purpose trees species:
Crop production from the rain fed areas is not stable and hence these lands can be effectively utilized for multipurpose tree production system. The land is utilized for planting various types of trees, which provide multipurpose uses such as wood, leaves, fruit, pods, fodder, etc. These products are very valuable and provide more income to farmers as compare with the income obtained from arable faming.
The Characteristics Features of MPTs are:
1. High survival % age and easy establishment,
2. Fast growing,
3. Ability to fix atmospheric N,
4. Multiple uses such as firewood, timber, green manure, fodder and raw material for local industry,
5. Wide acceptability by local people,
6. Produce nutritious and palatable foliage and
7. High cropping and pollarding capacity.
Important Multi- purpose Trees Species:
1. Albizzia amara,
2. Hardwickia binata
3. Leucaena latisiqua
4. Albizzia lebbeck
5. Albizzia procera,
6. Caillica glomerata,
7. Azadirachta indica.
i) Tree for Fuel:
The species chosen for fuel plantation have the capacity to survive, grow fast and produce large volume of fuel wood. They are amenable for easy management with minimal skill. E.g Albizzia lebbeck, Acacia albida, A nilotica, Prosopis cineraria, ziziphus numumulcris Acacia nilotica, Prosopis juliflora.
ii) Fodder Ttrees:
Various indigenous trees and shrubs have been identified sustainable for fodder based on the palatability rating. E.g Hardwickia binata, Prosopis cineraria.
iii) Green Manure Value:
The foliage of some of the species can be pruned and used as green leaf manure. E.g pongamia glabra, Glyricidia cebium, Azadirachta Indica, Erythrina India, Leucaena leucocephala. Sesbania, grandiflora, Sesbania aculeate (Dhaicha).
iv) Nitrogen Fixing Trees:
The N fixing trees ( NFTs) are getting attention in agro- forestry in agro- forestry and silvi- pastoral systems Leucaena lecucocephala Sesbania spp. Glyricidia Leucaena is very fast growing tree and to known to fix about 200 kg/ ha.
Woodlots are adopted on lands, which are too poor or not suitable for profitable agriculture. Casurina equisetifolia is planted large woodlots in A.P. T.N, Karnataka and Orissa. Eucalypts spp. And popular on farms lands is profitable in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and U.p in India.
Classifications of Agro- forestry System based on Various Approaches are Described Below:
1. Based on Structure:
1. Agri- silviculture: The land is used to produce both forest trees and agriculture crops either simultaneously or alternatively.
2. Silvi- pastoral system: In this system tress are managed to produced wood and fodder grasses and for rearing of domestic animals.
3. Agri – silvi- pastoral system: In this system combines agri- silviculture and silvi- pasture.
4. Multipurpose forestry production system: forest is managed to yield multiple product in addition to wood. They are grown to yield fruits, fruits, leaves, honey, gum, and medicine. This system is best suited for hill tribal.
2. Based on the Dominance of Components:
1. Silvo- agriculture: The trees are the major component of land use and the agriculture crops are integrated with then. E.g. shifting cultivation, taungya cultivation.
2. Agro- silviculture: Agricultural component is the major one and trees are the secondary e.g. Allay cropping.
3. Silvo- pastoral system: Trees is the major component and pasture is secondary to allow the animals for grazing.
4. Pastoral silviculture: pasture is the component and trees are secondary sometimes allowing over grazing of forest beyond its carrying capacity.
5. Agro- silvi- pastoral system: Combination of crops, trees and pastures, e.g. home gardens wherein trees, herbs, shrubs, climbers and grasses are grown on the same land.
6. Silvo- agri- pasture: Silviculture is the dominate component. Agriculture and pasture are secondary.