NITI Aayog Launches Agroforestry Portal and Report

The NITI Aayog has recently launched the ‘Greening and Restoration of Wasteland with Agroforestry’ (GROW) report and portal. The GROW initiative by NITI Aayog utilizes remote sensing and GIS to assess agroforestry suitability across all districts in India. It aims to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and create an additional carbon sink.

What is Agroforestry?

Agroforestry is a land use system that integrates trees and shrubs on farmlands to enhance productivity, profitability, diversity and ecosystem sustainability. It is practiced in both irrigated and rain-fed conditions, producing food, fuel, timber etc. Agroforestry has the potential to provide economic, sociocultural, and environmental benefits through carbon storage, biodiversity conservation, and soil and water conservation.

There are three main types of agroforestry systems:

  • i) Agrisilvicultural systems – combination of crops and trees e.g. alley cropping
  • ii) Silvopastoral systems – combine trees and grazing animals
  • iii) Agrosilvopastoral systems – integration of trees, animals and crops e.g. home gardens

Need for Agroforestry Promotion in India

Around 17% of India’s total geographical area is wasteland. Agroforestry is crucial to promote:

  • i) Reducing import dependence on wood
  • ii) Carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation
  • iii) Optimally using culturable wastelands and fallow lands

The National Agroforestry Policy, formulated in 2014, aims to encourage tree plantation on farmlands. The Sub-Mission on Agroforestry promotes planting multipurpose trees with short and long-term returns.

Key Benefits

Agroforestry provides additional income, enriches soil, increases carbon sequestration, and meets the demand for agroforestry produce. An Agroforestry Suitability Index was developed using GIS mapping wastelands into high, moderate, low suitability classes for prioritization.



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