Introduction to Agro and Farm Forestry

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Contents

Introduction to Agro and Farm Forestry

The association of trees with farming practices is progressively becoming a recognized land-use discipline. However, it is still perceived by some scientists, technicians and farmers as a sort of environmental fashion, which does not deserve credit. The peculiar history of agroforestry and the complex relationships between agriculture and forestry explain some misunderstandings about the concepts and classification of agroforestry and reveal that, contrarily to common perception, agroforestry is closer to agriculture than to forestry. Based on field experience from several countries, structural classification of agroforestry into six simple categories is proposed: crops under tree cover, agroforests, agroforestry in a linear arrangement, animal agroforestry, sequential agroforestry and minor agroforestry techniques. It is argued that this pragmatic classification encompasses all major agro forestry associations and allows simultaneous agro forestry to be clearly differentiated from sequential agro forestry, two categories showing contrasting ecological tree–crop interactions. It can also contribute to a betterment of the image of agroforestry and lead to a simplification of its definition. (M. Hafeez)

In Punjab, agroforestry has been increasingly used as a system for promoting sustainable land management and generating multiple benefits to the local community.

Environmental/Ecological Benefits

Environmental/ecological benefits are to:

  • Optimize moisture availability, (M. I. Sultani)
  • Prevent water/wind erosion and protect crops/vegetables from excessive temperature /radiation, and improve soil quality. (M. I. Sultani)
  • Agroforestry promotes biological diversity conservation as well as carbon sequestration thus mitigating climate change pressures that are also global environmental benefits. (M. I. Sultani)
  • Agroforestry helps increasing productivity, enhancing risk coverage and diversifying income sources of rural farmers and improving the supply of food, fodder, fuelwood, timber and other non-timber produce and that are economical benefits of agroforestry.
  • With such economic benefits, agroforestry promotes sustainable alternative livelihood, improves soil quality, empowers rural community particularly vulnerable population groups including women and promote their participation in productive activities.
  • Increasing attention has been given to generating the higher value of agroforestry produce through medicinal and aromatic plant cultivation and biomass energy source development.
  • By improving technical, human and financial resource constraints, the potential of such agroforestry practices needs to be fully materialized. Policy, planning and institutional frameworks still need to evolve in a way that shall support agroforestry activities.
  • Multidisciplinary and multi-institutional approaches are essential in this process, thus policy convergence and inter-agency coordination/ collaboration are becoming increasingly important.

National and international funding schemes have been supporting agroforestry. However, there is still a significant gap in the support of such funding schemes among various districts, provinces and countries as many countries haven’t yet Developed effective funding schemes and partnership.

Insufficient public infrastructure also poses constraints in widely marketing Agro forestry produce and raising the transaction cost of marketing agro forestry Produce.

There is a vast scope for private sector participation in the agroforestry as well as farm forestry sector. Countries need to evolve a sustainable mechanism for enhancing private sector participation for promoting agroforestry in dry and/or degraded lands. Useful traditional knowledge, innovative practices and improved technologies for agroforestry have not yet been sufficiently disseminated due to the lack of effective network mechanisms.

Agroforestry in Punjab The foreign expert delegate shared his personal experiences wherein the Forest Department successfully encouraged local initiatives by farmers towards agroforestry. Numerous slides outlined successful ventures of Homestead and Farmland Agroforestry systems. The talk provided an insight into the ongoing policy and institutional issues in Punjab.

The talk ended with a supplementary comment in which he noted that agroforestry in encroached forest areas was a good strategy and may be followed elsewhere. He raised a query as to the benefits to the farmer in such ventures.

Mr Khan promptly responded to it explaining that intermediate products are given to the farmer and some sharing is practised between the government and the farmer only after the second thinning of the plantation.

The distinguished speaker from Afghanistan, Mr Abdul Humid Amjad, Ministry of Civil Aviation, addressed the gathering. He urged attention to the state of forestry in the country, which has undergone major damage by wars in the recent past. He invited suggestions and participation from various agencies and countries for the amelioration of the biodiversity of Punjab and the promotion of agroforestry.

SEE ALSO: Agroforestry System – A Detailed Note.

Concepts

Farm forestry

This is the management of trees for a specific purpose within a farming context. Typically this is a timber plantation on private land. However, it can be applied to a range of enterprises utilizing different parts of the tree and managed in a variety of ways.

Agro-forestry

This is the combining of agriculture and tree growing so as to produce both agricultural products and tree products on a commercial basis. The purpose of this is to gain positive interactions between the two systems at both the paddock level and the enterprise level. The two systems may be fully physically integrated, or treated as separate entities within a single business enterprise. It is therefore ideally suited to the landholder seeking to enter farm forestry on a small scale, whilst maintaining an existing agricultural enterprise.

Benefits

Farm Forestry can produce multiple benefits for the farm, the environment and the community.

Benefits to the landholder include:

  • Shelter for stock, pasture and crops (Figure 1)
  • Additional and diversified earnings
  • Improved living environments
  • A buffer against the cyclical downturns in prices and drought, frost and flood events.
  • Improvement and maintenance of soil and water health through water table reduction (Figure 2).
  • Increases in capital value
  • Other benefits to the environment and community are:
  • The creation of new jobs and industries
  • Sustainable management of natural resources
  • Increases in biodiversity
Introduction to Agro and Farm Forestry. Environmental/Ecological Benefits. Concepts, Classification, Systems, Resources and Establishment.
Introduction to Agro and Farm Forestry. Environmental/Ecological Benefits. Concepts, Classification, Systems, Resources and Establishment.

Other advantages of Farm Forestry are:

  • That it is an industry that easily fits around the activities of most agricultural enterprises.
  • Prices of wood products are relatively stable compared to most agricultural products.
  • Long-term productivity is not weather dependant.

Classification of Agro and Farm Forestry

Agroforestry systems can be classified in different ways using structural and functional considerations (Table 2.2). One common classification of agroforestry includes agrosilvopastoral, silvopastoral or agrosilviculture systems, which can be further sub-divided depending on specific arrangements and/or functions.

Table 2.1 Types of land-use systems.

Type of System Examples of Components
Homogenous Systems  
  Monocropping systems, Maize, wheat, rice.
  Mono-animal systems Cattle, sheep, poultry.
  Mono-tree systems Timber plantations, woodlots.
Mixed Systems  
  Crop-crop Maize/cassava, maize/beans.
  Animal-animal Cattle/goat, cattle/poultry.
  Crop-animal Maize/cattle, cereals/poultry/household waste.
  Crop-tree Alley farming, mixed intercropping, boundary tree planting.
  Animal-tree Alley grazing, fodder treebanks.
  Crop-animal-tree Home gardens, alley farming with Livestock.

Another classification divides agro forestry systems into “mainly agrosilvicultural” (i.e., trees with crops), “mainly or partly silvopastoral” (i.e., trees with pasture and livestock) “tree-component predominant”, and “other components present”. This scheme recognizes a further subdivision according to structural or functional considerations (Table 2.3). This particular classification is probably best suited for the analysis of the potentials of agro forestry.

More recently, with a view to reviewing and synthesizing the state-of-the-art in agro forestry research and development for an annual ICRAF three-week course, the author and a lecturing team adopted the classification shown in Table 2.4.

Structural and functional criteria for defining and classifying agro forestry systems.

* Each can derive from leaves, flowers, fruits, wood, bark and root effects.

 An example of the classification of agro forestry systems. (After Young, 1987).

1. Mainly Agro forestry (trees with crops)
Rotational:
. Planted tree fallow
. Taungya
Spatial mixed:
. Trees on cropland
. Plantation crop combination
– With upper-story trees
– With lower-story
– Tree/shrubs crops
– With herbaceous crops.
. Tree gardens:
– Multistory tree gardens
– Home gardens
Spatial zoned:
. Alley farming
. Boundary planting
. Trees for soil conservation:
– Barrier hedges
– On grass barrier steps
– On bunds, etc.
– On terraces
. Windbreaks and shelterbelts
. Biomass transfer
2. Mainly or partly Silvopastoral (trees with pastures and livestock
Spatial mixed:
. Trees on rangeland or pastures
. Plantation crops with pastures
Spatial zoned:
. Live fences
– Mainly barrier function
– Multipurpose
. Fodder banks
3. Trees Component Predominant:
. Woodlots with multipurpose management
. Reclamation forestry leading to production:
– On eroded land
– On sanitized land
– On moving sands
4. Other Components Present and Special Aspects
. Apiculture with forestry
. Aqua forestry (trees with fisheries)
. Trees in water management
. Irrigated agro forestry

A second example of the classification of agro forestry systems.

1. Alley Farming (hedgerow intercropping)
2. Crops under tree cover
3. Pastures and animals under tree cover
4. Agro forests (live fencing, boundary planting, windbreaks, shelterbelts)
5. Sequential technologies (shifting cultivation, taungya, improved fallow)
6. Other technologies (aquaculture and apiculture with trees)

Structural criteria are readily applicable in classifying agro forestry systems. In contrast, the use of functional criteria to classify agro forestry systems is uncommon. The science of agro forestry is not yet sufficiently advanced in the analysis of technology management and performance to define useful functional criteria for system classification. The occasional exceptions include, for example, speaking of alley farming for soil fertility improvement or for fodder production, or indicating how a farming system’s output is to be disposed of (e.g., for home consumption, cash generation, or both).

The key task at present is to determine the most appropriate criteria to apply in classifying agro forestry systems. The choice of classification depends on its intended use of the classification. For the purposes of technology development, the chosen classification should provide a useful framework for guiding research and assessing research progress.

Plant Arrangement Patterns of Agro forestry in Punjab

The plant arrangement patterns in agro forestry are essentially situation-specific. A few generalized patterns are: (M. Hafeez)

Intercropping of tree species with annual agricultural crops, with both herbaceous and woody species planted simultaneously (or in the same season). The spacing of woody species will vary considerably, but as a general rule will be wider in drier regions. The scheme in principle is the same as the “alley cropping” system. This scheme can also be applied to agricultural plantation crops such as rubber and oil palm.

  • Clearing strips of about 1m width in primary or secondary forests at convenient intervals and plating shade-tolerant perennial agricultural species such as cacao. Thinned, and in about 5 years there will be a two-or-three-layer canopy consisting of the perennial agricultural species and the selected forestry species.
  • Introducing management practices such as thinning and pruning to existing forest plantation, so as to allow penetration of more light to the plantation floor, and plating selected forestry species.
  • In areas with slope, selected tree species could be planted in lines across the slope (along the contour) in different planting arrangements (single rows, double rows, be established between the trees along the contours. The area between the units could be utilized for agricultural species.
  • Close planting of multipurpose tree around plots of agricultural fields. The trees will form live fences and windbreaks, provide fodder and fuel, and mark the boundaries of agricultural plots. The scheme is particularly suitable for extensive land-use areas.
  • Interspersing intensively managed agricultural areas with trees, in a regular or haphazard manner. The system is popular in smallholder farming in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and South America. Several species of plants belonging to the domains of conventional agriculture, horticulture, and forestry can be seen to exit together on the same plot of land.
  • Some form of zonal planting of the different species-trees, shrubs, and herbs. The width of the zones or strips for individual species. Will be small so that there will be some interaction between adjacent zones over a significant proportion (i.e. more than half) shrubs and annual agricultural species in semiarid areas, where the shrubs will provide the herbaceous plant materials that can be used as much in a “wood mulch farming minimum tillage” system. A major management consideration in all these schemes must be to maintain the appropriate balance between products from the woody and herbaceous component of the mixture. Therefore, the population and arrangement of the perennial (woody) species have to be chosen with the future management regimes in mind.

How to do agro forestry in Punjab:

An agro forestry system is the result of the complex interactions between the five major components of the system. These are:

  1. Land
  2. Environment
  3. Agricultural component
  4. Forestry component
  5. Management strategy

Agro forestry Systems

Knowing what he or she wants from an agro forestry system, the landowner must now consider how to best go about selecting the best combination of the five interactive components i.e., land, climate, agricultural component, forestry component and management strategy.

The Five Interactive Components

Each component must be examined in turn to understand how it interacts with the others give the net results.

Land

          Once planted the site of agro forestry system cannot be move, therefore, it is especially important to thoroughly investigate possible sites and select the most suitable. A number of factors to be considered are:

  1. Relative position within the farming system. Agro forestry demands greater attention than most extensive farming systems and for that reason should be located in a readily accessible site.
  2. Topography. Steep land makes planting and tending of the trees, and harvesting expensive. Be sure that all anticipated operations can be easily performed without causing soil erosion or unnecessary problems.
  3. Soil type. Both the chemical nature of the soil-its fertility and pH-as ell as its physical structure and depth are important for tree growth.
  4. Present management Status. Once the trees are planted, it is often difficult to manage the understorey without damaging the young seedlings. Be sure the site is a fee of weeds and obstruction before planting and has good quality pasture or cropping surface.
  5. Drainage. Waterlogging is a major limiting factor for tree growth for most tree species, and if present, will greatly influence tree species and cropping possibilities.

  Take time to assess the nature and quality of the land and you will be assured of finding a more suitable system for the particular site.

Climate environment

Plant growth and development is dependent on climatic conditions. All plant s have a pacific set of climatic conditions, which maximize growth. Temperature, humidity, radiation, day length, moisture, wind levels and other factors all interact to make up the resulting climate. It is not the optimal conditions, however, which are the most important to plant health. Extremes in any of these factors can retard the growth and development of the tree, prevent flowering. Fertilization or fruit development, damage wood quality, or in some cases even kill the tree. Before selecting an agro forestry system to be sure that the possibility of drought, flood, frost and high winds are understood (Reid and Wilson,).

Agricultural Component

Agricultural crops for the agro forestry system will be largely restricted to species, which satisfy existing consumer and market preferences in any particular region. In some areas, the possibilities would be almost unlimited, covering vegetables, vine crops, fodder crops, grazing, etc. whereas in other areas there may be only one or two obvious alternatives.

It is important to carefully select agricultural crops, which neatly tie in with the overall management of the system. Early in the establishment phase, for example, crops, which can be successfully grown and harvested between the trees without the possibility of damaging them, are the most suitable. As the trees develop, grazing may be introduced and it is important that the stock used don not cause damage to the trees.

Shading of the understorey is an important factor affecting the suitability of many agricultural crops for developed agro forestry systems. The availability of soil moisture under the trees, especially in the topsoil, is crucial for pasture and crop growth. Research trail in Western Australia and New Zealand involving various stocking of Pinus radiate growing on pasture have shown that soil moisture levels in the topsoil actually increase with increasing tree density thus allowing pasture to stay greener over summer (Reid and Wilson).

Forestry Component

A whole candidature of multipurpose trees species that is likely to provide a rich choice of different types for inclusion in agro forestry system has already been discussed. The question is to how to go about selecting the trees species, or a number of species, which best satisfies the grower’s objectives has also been dealt with in detail. A number of important characteristics of tree that influence their suitability in agro forestry should be first considered in these are adaptability of these species, rate of growth, palatability as fodder, ability to withstand adverse condition, growth habit, shelter confirming and soil stabilization, nutrient cycling and nitrogen fixation, freedom from pests and diseases, bark type, chemical exudation, fire tolerance etc.

Tree species selection for agro forestry system does require a degree of homework, especially if the combination is unique in any area and one has little local knowledge to draw from. It might be a worthy exercise to prepare a tree species checklist, then read up about various species scoring them with respect to the side, the climate in agriculture components selected.

Management Strategy

Having chosen the forestry and agriculture components of an agro forestry system suited to the site, the management strategy, which maximizes the value of the system, must be developed. Probably the most important factor affecting the management strategy is the nature of the relationship between the overstorey of trees and the agricultural under storey Much work has been done around the world on specific systems under many different environmental conditions and form this a general picture can be constructed.

Although some beneficial effect of tree microhabitat on agricultural production is clearly evident in many systems at low tree numbers, it is generally accepted that there is an inherent trade-off between tree production and agricultural production. This trade-off can be expressed through the production possibility curve as shown in fig4. For one piece of land, the maximum forestry yield is scaled on one axis and the minimum agricultural production on the other.

If the intention is to replace some proportion of an existing agricultural enterprise with trees, what is the exact proportion of species needed to achieve any particular set of objectives and how should the trees be arranged?

Establishment Of An Agro forestry System In Upper And Lower Punjab

Choice of planting stock:

            It is essential to select the best possible planting stock for the system with due consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the choices. The basic choice is between seedling stock and clonal stock. The choice of species for agro forestry has already been dead within an earlier chapter.

Site preparation:

            The type of agricultural crops to be grown within the agro forestry system during the early airs will greatly influence how to the site should be prepared. The basic choice is between sowing agricultural crop or an improved pasture or maintaining the existing pasture. If existing pasture is to be maintained it must be high quality (with few or no weeds), before the tree is planted.

Planting trees:

Trees can be planted into an agro forestry system, as seed, container stock, or is an open-rooted plant. The best alternative will depend on the advantages and disadvantages of each with respect to the particular system involved, the site consideration prevailing at planting time, and owner’s objectives.

Weed control:

If the young trees are to be establishing themselves and grow quickly, they must not be subjected to competition for light, moisture, nutrient, or space, during the early years. Any vegetation growing near the tree is to consider a weed and should be removed.

Fertilization and further weed control for young trees:

The need for fertilization of newly planted trees depends both on the nutrient status of the soil and the demands of trees species. Although the agricultural site is generally quite fertile it is apparent (form a number of trials with various species) that a small number of additional fertilizers can greatly increase early growth. This is a describe result in agro forestry system for it allows greater grazing pressure to be applied at an earlier age. There are, as always, a few exceptions to this rule.

In most agro forestry system, which has been given a good start there is little, need for subsequent fertilization or need control after the first year. Generally speaking, it will be the demands of the agricultural components, which will determine that fertilizers application, are necessary. The nutrient, which is leached below the reach of the agricultural crop, can be taken by the trees, satisfying their nutrient requirements (Reid and Wilson, 1998).

Forestry in Punjab

Forest Resources of Punjab:

The Province of Punjab with an area of 20.63 million hectares (mha) and meagre forestry resources over only 0.771 mha in the public sector is forest deficient province. According to recent statistics, more than 70 million human and 50 million livestock population had to be fed from these meagre resources. The major part of the area (60%) is under cultivation for agriculture with the help of about 37,000 km of the canal network.  The resources include the following: 

  • Coniferous Forests                      28,000 ha
  • Scrub Forests                             38,000 ha
  • Range Lands                               2,648,036 ha
  • Irrigated Plantations                  150,060 ha
  • Riverine Forests                          58,440 ha
  • Canalside Plantations                 32640 km
  • Roadside Plantations                  11,680 km
  • Railside Plantations                    2,987 km

Miscellaneous        

  • Linear Plantations                         16,369 km

In addition to the public sector forestry resources, tree cover exists in farmlands both in the form of woodlots and linear avenues along the field boundaries and watercourses. According to a baseline survey by Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI, 1999), there are 20-23 trees per acre or more than 50 trees per ha in the cultivated area of the Punjab province. There is, however, 4-5 times more potential of having trees in the farmlands. It is believed that 90% of fuelwood and 55% of timber is coming from the farmlands. However, the farmers are facing the problem of proper marketing of their products that may hamper further progress. Industrial use like paper and pulp industry can come to their rescue, also saving huge forex being spent on import bill. The status of forest and range cover of the Punjab province is given below.

Forest and Range Cover in Punjab:

S.No Category of area Area in million hectares % age of area of Punjab
1 The total land area of Punjab province 20.630  
2 Public Forest lands including Rangelands 3.200 15.50
3 Public Forest lands excluding Rangelands 1.289 6.25
4 Planted area in Public Forests 0.285 1.38
5 Rangelands in Public Forests 2.680 12.99
6 Farmland planting under Farm Forestry Programmers of Punjab Forest Department 0.486 2.36
7 Forest and Range Cover of Punjab 0.771 3.74

* Source: Hand Book of Punjab Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department,

Like the farmlands, the public sector forests resources are not fully stocked and need to be improved and managed for much higher yield per unit area. Due to the tremendous pressure of human and livestock population, much more is desired to done to improve the productive and protective potential of the forestry sector resources.  

Forest Resource Situation:

According to recent statistics (1999), the present condition of the forestry sector resources in the public sector is tabulated below, according to which plan table blank area is 130,000 ha (321,307 acres) in compact public forests. About 2.6 mha of Cholistan is not planning table in the present scenario due to non-availability of sweet water sources and is being used only as a poorly stocked rangeland. This potential also needs to be exploited through survey and research. The blank plan table strips in the linear plantations in the public sector add another 11,798 km equivalent of about 100,000 ha of a compact area.

A- COMPACT FORESTS (acres)
Type of Forests Total Area Planted Area Blank area Area available for planting Un-plantable
Coniferous Forests 121916 55864 66052 36152 29900
Riverain Forests 144343 49192 95151 64207 30944
Irrigated Plantations 370646 166396 204250 112243 92007
 Scrub Forests 635497 428385 207112 104260 102852
 Range Lands 6620093 0 6620093 0 6620093
 Miscellaneous  16369 3158 13211 4445 8766
Total 7908864 702995 7205869 321307 6884562
B.  LINEAR STRIPS                                                                                     km
Linear Plantation Total Area Planted Area Blank area Area available for planting Un-plantable
Roadside 11680 6768 4912 3394 1518
Rail side 2987 681 2306 1490 816
Canal Side 32640 22739 9901 6914 2987
Total 47307 30188 17119 11798 5321

Forestry Sector Resources Contribution To GDP:  

The contribution of Forestry Sector Resources to GDP, as being depicted in the   Economic Survey is meagre and a fraction of 1% (0.12%), which is a misleading statement. The inter-sectoral contribution of watersheds to the sustained supply of water to hydropower dams and irrigation system, livestock grazing in rangelands and forests, plantation being raised in farmlands and intangible benefit (Presently not being assigned rupee value) is much more than the value of the forestry sector products. In Germany, they have worked out the value of intangible benefits as eight times greater than the tangible value of products and services of the forestry sector. It must be recognized to allow equitable financial allocation for the sector. Secondly, the Forestry sector is being treated as sub-sector of huge Agriculture Sector and Forestry as sub-sector is completely shadowed due to high sectoral priorities of Agriculture.

Management Constraints:

Forestry Sector Resource Management is constrained by lack of adequate financial resources, long term gestation period, erratic and short supply of irrigation water to Irrigated Plantations, multiplying users rights in high hill forests, fast multiplying human and livestock population, especially in the fragile high hills and sub-mountainous Pothwar watersheds, lack of inundation in the riverain forests and precipitating resource protection problems. In the Murree Hills Upland Environmental Rehabilitation Project and Punjab Forestry Sector Development Project in Pothwar have adopted a participatory approach to involve the stakeholders in decision-making and sustainable development and management of forestry sector resources.  

Protection continues to be a serious problem due to the lack of legislative measures against Timber Mafia and habitual forest offenders. Hundred of thousands of forest offence cases are pending in the courts for want of trying. Appointment of Forest Magistrates, provision of arms to protection staff, wireless facilities and elimination of rights from forests are some of the outstanding issues under active consideration of the Government. Punjab Cabinet has approved Punjab Forestry Sector Policy 1999 on 16.12.1999 that provides to bring the Forestry Sector on Concurrent list of subjects. For this purpose amendment in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is required. Forest Act 1927 has been amended and needs the approval of the Federal Government. The provision for participation of stakeholders and Joint Forest Management (JFM) has been made to involve the stakeholders in protection and encourage and register private investment in public forestry resource development.  

Resource Inventory:

The Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development had proposed complete inventory of trees in the public sector compact forests, irrigated plantations, riverain forests and linear plantations along canals, roads and the railway track. This is being done in case of all linear plantations for documentation of the resource and for ensuring protection. However, in the case of compact forests and plantations, the crop density denotes the resource potential and enumeration of trees is neither possible nor necessary. In all the forests and plantations the working plans are prepared to streamline the management of resource with a long gestation period, during which stock maps are prepared by complete field survey. The stock position is documented in the form of permanent record like maps and compartment history files to accompany the working plan. In a recent study, all the plantable blanks have been identified in major irrigated plantations for rehabilitation within the shortest possible period with scarce financial resources available.

Current Demand of Products and Services:

During FY 1999-2000 only 1.7 million cft of timber and 3.55 million cft was produced from public forests in the province, constituting 45% and 10% of the production of the province respectively. Obviously, it is much short of our current demand that is expected to multiply manifolds in future. The per capita forestry resource in the country is estimated to be 0.03 ha as compared to the world average of one ha per capita. According to safe estimates, the annual import bill for pulp, paper and paper products runs into RS 8 billion which is expected to increase many times due to increase in population, growing at a compound rate of 2.66% per annum and expected an increase in literacy percentage. 

Projection of Demand of Products and Services:

In the year 2018, it is estimated that the population will more than double and so will be the increase in demand for forestry goods and services. On the other hand, our forestry sector resources are shrinking day by day. Serious thought could not be given to this alarming situation. Forestlands are often being transferred for other uses, overuse and over-exploitation of sector resource are resulting in fast deforestation and degradation. No new forests are being added. As forest deficient country we will not be able to export any value-added products of forestry sector after rectification of World Trade Protocol (WTO). Punjab province with 60% of cultivated cropped land is endeavouring to increase tree cover on the farmlands and during last decade PERI has estimated that more than 0.42 mha equivalent of tree cover has been added in the farmlands.

Projected Consumption of Wood:

Description Units 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018
Population
National Million 126.8 147.7 172.1 200.4 233.5 272
Provincial
Rural Million 46.4 51.9 57.8 63.9 70.2 76.4
Urban Million 23 28.9 36.4 45.8 57.6 72.5
Total Million 69.4 80.8 94.2 109.7 127.8 148.9
% of National % 54.7 54.7 54.7 54.7 54.7 54.7
2- Round wood Consumption
Industrial Wood
National 000m3 3328 4065 4989 6150 7628 9521
% of Provincial Share % 54.7 54.7 54.7 54.7 54.7 54.7
Provincial Volume 000m3 114 127 146 168 195 231
Domestic Fuel wood
Rural 000m3 19043 21025 23213 25629 28297 31242
Urban 000m3 3883 4287 4733 5226 5769 6370
Total 000m3 22926 25312 27946 30885 34066 37612
Round wood % 56 56 56 56 56 56
Round volume 000m3 12839 14175 15650 17279 19077 21063
Total Round wood
Industrial wood 000m3 1821 2224 2731 3367 4175 5212
Industrial fuelwood 000m3 114 127 146 168 195 231
Domestic fuelwood 000m3 12839 14175 15650 17279 19077 21063
Total:- 000m3 14774 16526 18527 20814 23447 26506

*Source: Pastic Database 

Financial Resource Allocation: 

          The financial resources are not forthcoming according to the requirement in accordance with working plans approved by the Government resulting in progressive decrease in exploitable volume from public sector forestry sector resources. Since the sector resources have long-term gestation, short funding year after year has resulted in degradation, which must be arrested forthwith. Efforts are often frustrated due to ever diminishing financial resources. Most of the 28 long-term management plans (working plans) continue expiring without the major prescription being funded and implemented. The World Bank Mission during their supervision missions of Punjab Forest Sector Development Project (PFSDP) have strongly been recommending establishment of Revolving Fund (Forest Reserve Fund) to overcome the problem of erratic and short funding. The current level of normal budget is only Rs. 500 million per annum. 

Punjab Forestry Sector Policy 1999: 

To streamline the long term planning and development in the sector, the first Punjab Forestry Sector Policy 1999, was approved by the Punjab Cabinet on 16.12.1999. The policy has been formulated to address the emerging challenges with most recent approaches. The salient features of the policy are: 

  • Enhance tree cover in watersheds, farmlands and wastelands.
  • Improve tree and land tenure.
  • Proper land-use planning and land capability classification of lands.
  • Rationalize forest users’ rights according to carrying capacity.
  • Ensure irrigation for irrigated plantations for sound planning.
  • Adopt Joint Forest Management (JFM)
  • The commitment of stakeholders and decision-makers/politicians.
  • Tenable forest management and legal cover for communal and private forests.
  • Development of Agro forestry with market-oriented incentives.
  • Adopt an Ecosystem Management approach for the integration of multiple lands uses.
  • Habitat Management, Eco reserves, in-situ and ex-situ conservation of local flora and fauna.
  • Adopt EIA for all developmental activities.
  • Improve marketing, utilization and industrialization of forestry sector products.
  • Develop and follow forward planning and formulate long-term perspective and master plans for the development of sector resources.
  • Update and upgrade research and educational institutions to address emerging challenges in the sector. Amalgamate PFRI and PWLI into PFWRI at Gatwala Faisalabad.
  • Planned HRD and continuing education may be started.
  • Amend forestry sector legislation to meet emerging challenges.
  • Bring forestry sector on concurrent lists of subjects.
  • Put a complete ban on change of land use of forestry sector resources.

With all the above efforts Punjab province needs a lot of national and international financial support to overcome the problem of depredating sector resources. Pakistan is a signatory to many international conventions like CBD, CMS, CWC, CITES, CCD, CCC and CWH and Province of Punjab is also obliged to stand by these international commitments. However, very little regional and international collaboration and funding are available to the Province. Federal Government may arrange grant and funding from international donors like Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to overcome a shortage of financial and technological resources required for forestry sector development

Forest Resources by Types:

Forest Vegetation Types:

i) Coniferous Forests:

The natural High Hill Coniferous Forests grow 765 meters above sea level between 320 6′ and 340 1′ North latitude and 720 47′ and 730 42′ East longitude.  The average annual rainfall of the area of their occurrence varies from 1.01 to 1.45 meters.  The forest areas are situated in Murree and Kahuta Tehsils of Rawalpindi district over an area of 172879 acres out of which 100363 acres are in the private sector which is managed as ‘Guzara Forests’. Remaining, 72516 acres are administered by the Murree Kahuta Development Authority.  The main species are Chir, Fir and Spruce.  These forests are the only source of softwood supply in the province and their timber is mainly used for construction purposes.  Crude resin can be obtained from Chir trees and distilled to produce rosin and turpentine oil.  These forests also provide the recreational facility. 

ii) Scrub Forests: 

The scrub forests consisting of natural low yielding thorny vegetation occur in Pothwar area of Rawalpindi Civil Division and also in the low dry hills of Mianwali, Khushab and Dera Ghazi Khan Districts. The state-owned scrub forests covering an area of 257,286 ha the least productive, however, their importance from the soil and water conservation point of view can hardly be over-emphasized.  The major species are Kahu (Olea ferruginea) and Phulai (Acacia modesta).

iii) Irrigated Plantations: 

These are man-made forests and are in the shape of blocks of tree plantations in the canal-irrigated tract.  Raised originally to cater for the fuelwood requirements of the railway steam engines, the first artificial forest of this type was established at Changa Manga in 1865.  These plantations now meet about 10% of the total Firewood needs of the Punjab Province.  The Irrigated plantations are spread over an area of 370657 acres in different districts of Punjab having irrigation water facilities.  The general composition of the crop in these plantations is a mixture of Shisham, Bakain, Kikar, Mulberry, Semal, Hybrid Poplar and  Eucalyptus

iv) Riverain Forests: 

The Riverain or Bela Forests covering 111343 acres occur in varied sized patches along different rivers of Punjab. The original vegetation consists mostly of Bhan (Populus euphratica), Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Frash (Tamarix aphylla) etc. 

v) Range Lands:

Rangeland is normally considered to be any naturally vegetated land in low rainfall areas grazed by domestic livestock and game animals.  These are uncultivated lands where, due to adverse conditions of soil, topography and particularly water deficiency, neither agriculture nor forestry is economically possible.  An area of 6,620,093 acres of the Punjab Province falls in this category, in public sector. 

vi) Linear Plantations: 

These are avenues of trees planted along Roadside, Canalside and Railside.  Linear plantations along the canals are managed by the Forest Department. It consists of 11680, 2987 and 32640 km of road, rail and Canalside plantations respectively. Tree species usually planted are Shisham, Kikar, Eucalyptus, Siris, Semal etc. Some ornamental’s such as jacaranda, Cassia fistula (Amaltas) Bauhinia (Kachnar) etc. are also planted. 

Legal Categories of Forests: 

1.    Reserved Forests:

        The public forest lands that have been declared as Reserved Forests Under section 20 of the Forest Act (XVI) 1927, are generally without rights and privileges. 

2.    Protected Forests: 

        The forests, which have been declared as Protected Forests under the provision of the Forest Act 1927, have some rights and concessions of grazing, grass cutting, and collection of dry wood etc. 

3.    Unclassed Forests: 

        The public forestlands under the control of the Forest Department that are neither Reserved Forests nor Protected Forests are known as un-classed Forests. 

4.     Chos Act Forests: 

        Lands requisitioned by the Punjab Forest Department, -for the purpose of soil and water conservation under the Punjab Land Preservation (Chos) Act (Act II) 1900.

5.    Resumed Lands: 

        Lands taken over by the Government under various land reforms and Martial Law & regulations and managed by the Forest Department. 

6.     Guzara Forests: 

          The communal forest areas, which are the joint property of villagers and are managed by the Forest Department through Guzara Committees. 

7.    Section 38 Areas: 

        Privately owned lands voluntarily and temporarily put under the control of Punjab Forest Department, for conservation and preservation of soil and vegetation. 

Range Lands: 

          Of the total area of 20.63 mha of Punjab, more than 10.3 mha are basically fit for only range management. However, the vast irrigation system has made it possible to cultivate 60% of the area for agricultural crops. The rangelands of Punjab include the following areas in the public sector. 

In hectares

Type of forests Total area Planted area Blank area Area available for planting Unplantable
Rangelands 2,680,200 0 2,680,200 0 2,680,200

Farm Forestry in Punjab

          Under this scheme, a loan of Rs.98, 992 is advanced for plantation of 500 poplar plants on one hectare. This amount is given in 8 annual instalments and is recoverable after 8 years, but interest will be recoverable every year. Also a loan of Rs.19, 968/- is advanced for plantation of Eucalyptus/ Kikar on one hectare of land, recoverable in 8 years.

Farm forestry scheme for Eucalyptus Plantation

          The details of the unit cost and the repayment period approved under farm forestry scheme are: –

Type of Plantation Time for plantation Distance No. of plants in 1 Hect. Period counting for Felling Unit Cost (yr. wise) Repayment Period Grace Period
Eucalyptus Monsoon 3mX2m 1600 10th yr. 21332 12yr 11 yr.
          7698    
          1994    

ii) The Repayment period is 9 years with 8 years grace period. Only the interest will be charged from Ist year to 8th year in annual equated instalments. The principal will be recovered in the 9th year.

iii) Out of Rs.3615.00 per hectare to be advanced in the first year Rs.300.00 being the price of 1500 plants is to be paid to the Nursery of the Forest Department, the rest of the payment is to be made direct to the applicant for meeting labour charges, Fertilizer cost, irrigation and weedings.

Poplar Plantation

          Under this scheme, Bank disburses loans for planting 500 Poplars per hectare amounting to 1,16319 Rupees in 8 yearly instalments. Description as follows:

S. No. Kind of plantation Period of planting Distance No. of plants in 1 hectare Felling (Harvesting) Unit Cost (yr. wise in Rs.) Repayment Period Grace Period
1. Poplar In winter-January,February 5m X 4m 500 In the 8th yr. 31579 9 yr 8 yr
            15994    
            13396    
            14306    
            13681    
            9121    
            9121    
            9121    
                 

Conditions

  1. Priority would be given to the Applications forwarded by Forestry department
  2. The loan is given for planting min. 150 Poplars
  3. The borrower should have Irrigation facilities

Reference

  1. M. Hafeez, (Second Edition) Agro forestry in Punjab. Publisher by the gatwalla research centre.
  2. Bird P.R., Jowett D.W., Kellas J.D., Kearney G.A. (1999). Farm forestry clear wood production. A manual for south-east Australia. Technical report series. Agriculture Victoria.
  3. General Silviculture by (K..M. Saddique)
  4. Manual of Silviculture by (G.M.khattak)
  5. Boland D.J., Brooker M.I.H., Chippendale G.M., Hall N., Hyland B.P.M., Johnston R.D., Kleinig A., Turner J.D. (1992). Forest trees of Australia.
  6. M. Hafeez (1999). Native trees and shrubs of Punjab
  7. D. Rocheleau, F. Weber, and Agro forestry in Dryland Africa 1988 Publisher: ICRAF, Kenya ISBN: This book is especially useful for field workers, researchers, and agro forestry projects in drier environments in Africa.
  8. Davidson R. (2000). Bushland on farms. Do you have a choice? Australian Government Press.
  9. G. Schroth, G.A.B. da Fonseca, C.A. Harvey, C. Gascon, H.L. Vasconcelos, and A-M.N. Izac, 2004. Agro forestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes Island Press, Explores how agro forestry practices can help promote biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes.
  10. Guigan F, Clark N. B. (1998). Kraft Pulping Properties of Acacia mearnsii and A. Silvestri. In: Turnbull, J.W. (Ed.) Advances in tropical Acacia research. ACIAR Proceedings No 35.
  11. Jaakko Poyry (1999). Feasibility of Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) for farm forestry in central Victoria, Australia
  12. M.SULTANI (2001). Timber growing opportunities for north Punjab.
  13. Searle S (2000). Critical appraisal of the Black wattle feasibility study and new information. For the Central Victorian Farm Plantations Inc.
  14. Searle S. (1996). Wood and non-wood use of temperate Australian Acacias. Proceedings of 1996 Australian Forest Growers Conference. Mt Gambier.
  15. Thomas S. (1993). Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) – a re-vitalised industry for Australia. Australian Forest Grower. Special lift out section No 24 Autumn 1993 Vol 16 No 1.
  16. Turnbull J.W. (1986). Multi-purpose Australian trees and shrubs; lesser-known species for fuelwood and agro forestry. ACIAR Monograph No.1.
  17. W.C. Clark and R.R. Thaman, Agro-Forestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability 1993 Publisher: United Nations University Press, Tokyo ISBN: 92-808-0824-9.

READ NEXT: Regenerative Agriculture – EcoFriendly Agriculture

Click here to download Agroforestry and Farm Forestry in Punjab (Seminar)

By

MUHAMMAD SADIQ

M.Sc. (FORESTRY) SESSION (2008-2010)

Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI) Peshawar

Corrections and Suggestions are most welcome. Please use the comment section for feedback.


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