Introduction to Agroforestry

Introduction to Agroforestry

Social forestry pertains to those areas and forest which are manmade. Agroforestry is conspicuously and important part of Social forestry and is it a dual system of production i.e. production of forest crops and food crops, fodders or medicinal plant becomes possible. It meets simultaneously at least two requirements of the participating persons. Agroforestry is defined as a sustainable land management system which increase the overall yield of land, combined with the production of crops (including tree crops) and forest plants and animal simultaneously or sequentially on the same unit of applies management practices that are compatible with the cultural practice of the local population. Thus in Agroforestry co-existence of farm and forestry is adopted on a scientific basis and consequently, the total yield of land is raised significantly. Present status of forest in India is as follows:

Total land area

329 m. ha.

Area under Agriculture

143 m. ha. (47%)

Area under Forest

75 m. ha. (22.7%)

Barren Land

21 m. ha.

Under non Agriculture

18 m. ha.

Illegally occupied

24 m.ha.


1000 M.

Cattle production

400 m

• Half of the Forests in India are denuded, various degrees due to increased human activities.
• India’s fast growing population stands at a count of more than 1000 in. and cattle population about 400 m, in which demands for huge amount of food, fodder, timber, fuel, Medicines, employment etc. It has been internationally acknowledged that 30 to 33% of the total geographical area must be under good forest cover.
• For balance environment and ecosystem
• All the above situation calls for massive programme of Afforestation and planting with people’s participation. This programme should attempt is restore ecological balance and meet the various needs of rural people. This is feasible only if tree growing become a people’s programme which brought to be combined with agriculture.
• The forest land area of 75 in ha under forest cover was not adequate to maintain good environment. It was therefore, rightly resolved through a National Policy Resolution in the year 1952 to add 35 m ha to the forest cover and to bring 33% of our land under forests. The decision though wise, timely and far-sighted, was never implemented with the same spirit.

Against this background Agroforestry should become an important land use system, conventionally which was duly recognized by planners while preparing the seventh plan document. At this stage a recommendation was also made that Agroforestry might be included as core subject in the curriculum by all the State Agricultural Universities.

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