Agroforestry in India: National Policy Focuses on Improving the Productivity of Smallholding Farmers and Providing Them Sustainable Livelihoods

Sep 14, 2017 9:00 AM ET

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80% of farmers in India are rainfed smallholders who cultivate on 2 hectares of land or less. Taking cognizance of the multiple benefits of agroforestry, India became the first country to adopt a national agroforestry policy in 2014.

India designed the policy with the goal to improve productivity, create employment opportunities, generate income and meet the ever-increasing demand for timber, food, fuel, fodder, fertiliser and fibre from a growing population.

The policy recognises the potential of agroforestry as a land-use system that integrates trees into farmlands and rural landscapes to enhance productivity, profitability, diversity and ecosystem sustainability.