Agroforestry System – A Detailed Note.



·       The word Agroforestry is a combination of two words
·       AGRO => Agriculture and forestry
·       It is a part of the social forestry programme.
·       It is the planned integration of forestry and agriculture.
·       Agroforestry is a sustainable land management system which increases the overall yield of the land, combines the production of crops, including tree crops and forest plants or animals simultaneously the same unit of the land applies management practices that are compatible with the cultural practices of the local population”(KING & CHANDLER 1978).
·       Agroforestry as a science is based on Forestry, Agriculture, Animal husbandry, Aquaculture, and fisheries, Land Resource management and other disciplines with which all form the systematic background of land use.


1.     Agrisilviculture
2.     Silvopastoral
3.     Agrosilvopastoral
4.     Multiple forest tree production system


§  The conscious and deliberate use of land for the concurrent production of agricultural crops and forest crops. This is perhaps the most common form of Agroforestry.


§  The land management systems in which forests are managed for the production of wood as well as for the rearing of domesticated animals.


§  In this land is managed for the concurrent production of Agricultural, Forest crops and for the Rearing of domesticated animals. This system is in effect a combination of Agrisilviculture and the silvopastoral system.



§  In this forest tree species are regenerated and managed for their ability to produce not only wood but nuts, Shelter, Soil erosion control, Recycling of nutrients, energy cropping, Wildlife habitat, Livestock fodder, bark or leaf products or essential oils and pharmaceuticals.


·       “In Agroforestry system, there are both Ecological and Economical interaction between the different components”(International Council for Research in Agroforestry)
·       Agroforestry is the amalgamation of farming and forestry. It requires new management practices and technologies which understand the complex interaction of the various components of the system.
·       Various components are.
1.     Land.
2.     Environment.
3.     Agricultural component.
4.     Forestry component
5.     Management strategy
·       Agroforestry will require, from both scientists and farmers a new way of looking at their work. They must appreciate the system as a whole, involving the complementary and competitive interactions between the various components.
·       It is also a system for sustained stewardship of the land that belongs not only to today’s farmers but to generations of the farmer as yet unborn.
·       REID and WILSON(1985) say that they do not see agroforestry as an antidote for all the Agricultural problems facing the world today, but rather as a much neglected alternative and husbandry which should be considered with equal standing alongside other land use possibilities.
·       It is obvious that the degree of INTEGRATION of trees into the Agriculture mainstream and the nature of that integration will vary. Depending on the climatic, soil and economic environment
·       Sometimes the best solution would not involve trees at all. Also, on the other hand, the Agriculture component might be undesirable in some cases. It should be understood though that between these extremes lies a continuum of infinite combination known as Agroforestry.


i.    Trees on non-arable or Fallow land.
ii.   Trees grown in Homestead Areas.
iii. Trees growing along boundaries and in other interstitial sites.
iv.  Intercropping on Arable Land.
v.   Monocropping on Arable Land (Farm woodlots).


Ø  Agroforestry in advantageous to Farmers in Several ways as follows:
1.         The inclusion of trees in Agricultural crops increases the income of the farmers.
2.       It makes available much-needed fuelwood, fodder, timber and other useful plants products to the farmers for their personal use.
3.         Trees Recycle nutrients.
4.         Trees are less affected by temporary water deficit because the root system taps the moisture from a deeper layer of soil.
5.         Agro-Forestry contributes to socio-economic uplift of Rural people through job opportunities, crop-security and surplus quantity of sale. The horticulture crops yield fruits and trees are sold for multifarious uses. The trees give a security for meeting special needs like marriage of children, expenses on Burials etc.
6.         Trees contribute positively to the environment as they maintain the fertility of soil (leguminous especially), reduce wind velocity and create a favorable microclimate for Agricultural crops, which in turn increase the productivity of Agricultural yield by 15% and reduce the cost of insecticides and pesticides, due to Bird in trees.
7.         Farmland contributes timber and fuelwood of 47% and 90% respectively.
8.         90% of sports goods i.e. cricket-bats are made of poplar wood.
9.         Tree dominate over weeds and result in weed Reduction.
10.       Trees improve soil structure & fertility.
11.       Raising income by employing tree crops which provide higher Returns from the land than alternative crops e.g.
12.       Village carpentry is another source of income for farmers. The village carpentry work is a source of livelihood of about 98000 Rural families, used 2,50,000 m3 of wood.
13.       The trees are the farmer fixed deposit.
14.       Trees perform as shelterbelt/windbreaks.
15.       It provides insurance against natural calamities.
16.       The Income from Agroforestry enables the farmers to repay the DEBTs or loan in a short period of time.


1.     Fast growing species.
2.     Multipurpose use of the trees species.
3.     Trees may not affect the light requirements of crops. (Sparsely Branched and no-dense).
4.     Selection of deeply Rooted trees.
5.     Selection of trees species according to soil conditions and climate.
6.     Easy availability of plant species that cheeks soil erosion effectively.
7.     Planting direction should be north-south, keeping in view sun rays in summer and winter vertically and horizontally reach the farmland respectively.


1.      Populus deltoidies
2.      P. euramericana
3.      Bombox ceiba
4.      Mangifera indica
5.      Melia azdeurach
6.      Dalbergia sissoo
7.      Acacia nilotica
8.      Ailanthus altissima
9.      Azadirachta indica
10.    Morus alba
11.    Eucalyptus camaldulensis
12.    Leucaena leucocephala (Ipil-Ipil).

SEE ALSO:  Cousinia spp.

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