Agroforestry is a land-use system in which trees/shrubs are grown in association with agricultural crops, pastures or livestock. This integration of trees and shrubs in the land-use system can be either a spatial arrangement, e.g. trees growing in a field at the same time as the crop, or in a time sequence, e.g. shrubs grown on a fallow for restoration of soil fertility.
It combines shrubs and trees in agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, ecologically sound, and sustainable land-use systems
Real life applications of the agroforestry:
Below are some of the applications of the agroforestry:
- Strip cropping
- Fauna-based systems
- Boundary systems
- Physical support systems
- Wind break and shelterbelt
- Shade systems
- Crop-over-tree systems
- Alley cropping
Challenges in agroforestry:
- Unfamiliarity with technologies
- Lack of awareness of successful agroforestry examples
- Lack of knowledge about where to market products
- Lack of technical assistance
- Cannot afford adoption or start up costs, including costs of time
- Unavailability of information about agroforestry
- Apparent inconvenience
- Lack of equipment
- Insufficient land
- Lack of seed/seedling sources
- Lack of scientific research
- Lack of developed markets for products
Wasteland and Means to Reclaim them:
According to Integrated Wasteland Development Program, Wasteland is a degraded land which can be brought under vegetative cover, with reasonable effort, and which is currently under utilized and land which is deteriorating for lack of appropriate water and soil management or because of natural causes.
Categories of wasteland for Identification
Culturable Wasteland- The land that is has potential for the development of vegetative cover and is not being used due to different constraints of varying degrees, such as erosion, water logging, salinity etc.
Unculturable Wasteland– The land that cannot be developed for vegetative cover, for instance the barren rocky areas and snow covered glacier areas.
Various practices to reclaim any wastelands are listed below:
Mulching: à protective cover of organic matter and plants like stalks, cotton stalks, tobacco stalks etc. are used which reduce evaporation, help in retaining soil moisture and reduce soil erosion.
Providing Surface a cover à The easiest way to protect the land surface from soil erosion is of leave crop residue on the land after harvesting.
Reforestation/Afforestaion à Grow Trees
Terracing à the land is shaped in the form of levelled terraces to hold soil and water. The terrace edges are planted with such plant species which anchor the soil.
Strip Farming à different kinds of crops are planted in alternate strip along the contour
Changing agriculture practices à mixed cropping, crop rotation and cropping of plants