Steps To Promote Agro-Forestry in India

Current Affairs: Government of India is promoting Agro forestry and orchards in all States of the country under various missions/ schemes namely:

1- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) and National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

2- Green India Mission under Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC)

3- Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan under Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

managed-forests-can-soak-up-more-carbon_108Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)- a Centrally Sponsored Scheme is being implemented during XII Plan, for holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo covering all States including Maharashtra, Himalayan states & UTs are covered under MIDH.

The Mission envisages production and productivity improvement of horticulture crops including fruit orchards through coverage of area with improved cultivars, rejuvenation of senile orchards, protected cultivation, creation of water resources, adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), organic farming, including in situ generation of organic inputs.

Besides, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has a component Rainfed Area Development (RAD) which is operational from the year 2014-15 in all 29 States of the country including Maharashtra.

RAD aims at promoting Integrated Farming System (IFS) covering crops, livestock & fishery, horticulture, plantation and pasture based composite farming along with value addition activities for enhancing livelihood opportunities to enable farmers not only in maximizing the farm returns for sustaining livelihood, but also to mitigate the impacts of drought, flood or other extreme weather events.

Under RAD, Agro-forestry and horticulture activities are being promoted as integral part of Integrated Farming System (IFS).

Green India Mission (GIM) is one of the eight missions under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The submission 4 of GIM encourages Agro-Forestry and Social-Forestry by increasing biomass and creating carbon sink.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs through its programme Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan provides Grants to the State Government including Maharashtra for promotion of agro- based integrated livelihood initiatives such as Dairy development with State cooperative, horticulture, floriculture, vegetable production, apiculture, sericulture, fisheries, backyard poultries etc. without in any way disturbing the traditional agricultural practices, in order to create enabling environment for tribals to earn their livelihood at doorsteps with backward and forward linkages.