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Agroforestry a system of land use in which harvestable trees or shrubs are grown among or around crops.



Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. Agroforestry combines shrubs and trees in agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems.

“A integrates agriculture, livestock, forests, trees and water, and the sectors connected to each, is esse The vast majority of fuelwood comes from forests and remnant patches of vegetation. When smallholders practice agroforestry, less fuelwood needs to be purchased and there is less reliance on collecting from natural stands which means less time and energy is expended on the long treks required for collection.

This leaves more time for income-generating activities, especially for women who are usually the major fuelwood collectors.ntial if we are going to meet the demands for food and energy tomorrow,”

With the global population increasing and our climate changing, now more than ever we need to halt the overexploitation of natural resources which supply us with water, energy and food, and manage these resources sustainably. For smallholder farmers across the developing world, this need is perhaps most critical, for without a secure food supply, access to clean water and sources of energy, their livelihoods are threatened. - By Kate Langford

What actions do you propose?

The actions are:

  • First, agroforestry awareness program in local level, regional level and national level.
  • Then, small landholder farmers offered an opportunity to join agroforestry group.
  • Formation of the agroforestry farmers groups, at least 20 person/group.
  • Trained these groups (2 weeks) about the knowledge of agroforestry technology, land management system, crop, livestock farming and tree planting system.
  • Initially, farmers offered for tree-planting programme in own land.
  • Tree plant calculation based on 100 tree plant to cultivate.
  • Farmers to receive various levels of input subsidies and/or outcome-based incentives for tree survival, which rewarded farmers for keeping 70 percent of their trees alive for one season. Farmers receive inceptive after one year tree survival, per tree US$2.00/year. Afterwards upto 5 years incentive increases per tree US$1.00/year-
  • Take-up, tree planting and tree survival outcomes were used to measure adoption.
  • And farmers also grown, crops in lands.

Trees and the Water Cycle

Water Is Lifeblood

Water is the lifeblood of our planet. In fact from rainforest to desert, prairie to arctic, the amount of water available is the central determinant in classifying ecotypes. No living organisms escape the need for water as the basic chemical framework for all their internal processes.

Yet fresh water accounts for only 3% of the water on our planet (and most of that 3% is frozen at the poles)... meanwhile what fresh water does exist is continually moving back to merge with the salty oceans.

To balance the return of fresh water to oceans, ocean water continually evaporates back into the atmosphere to form the clouds that return fresh water to land as rain. However, isotope studies have shown that almost all oceanic moisture falls as rain within the first 150 miles from any coast.

How, then, do life-giving rains manage to reach the vast interiors of continents?

Trees Humidify Air

Among plants, trees are by far the most effective evapo-transpirers. Complementing oceans, trees form the other half of the planet-wide system known as the rain or water cycle. A typical tree breathes out 250 to 400 or more gallons of water per day through the amazingly large surface area of its leaves (an acre of forest can contain well over 1,000 acres of leaf surface area).

It's almost impossible to overstate trees' ability to humidify air and thereby maintain the rain cycle far from oceans. While some rainfall evaporates directly from the ground and from small plants (this can amount to most of a light rain), evapotranspiration by trees accounts for the great majority of inland rain.

Even near oceans, trees are vitally important to re-humidification and rain. When European settlers removed the high forests from the island of Maui, for instance, the once heavily-forested island immediately downwind (Kahoolawe) quickly became a desert island because its source of rain had been the trees on Maui—not the ocean surrounding both islands.

No Trees, No Rain

If trees are clearcut over large areas, therefore, rains slow or stop downwind, describing the situation existing now over most of the U.S. Southwest. This has not always been the case here, even relatively recently. Our present Southwest is drier than that of just a couple hundred years ago—remember, our popular view of the Old Southwest comes from cowboy movies, all filmed in modern degraded landscapes.

Tree ring, pollen and other botanical studies, as well as reports by Spanish explorers, show that the Southwest of the recent past was much greener and more productive than it is now. Just 3,000 years ago (a mere drop in the ocean of geologic time) the Southwest was more heavily forested and rainfall was 1½ or more times as plentiful. Grasslands, sprinkled with individual trees and mottes (small islands of trees), were healthy and lush and loss of rain to runoff was very low.

Opportunities for Agroforestry in Nepal:

Nepal is a relatively small country situated between -India and China with a total area of about 147,800 sq. km. In altitude, it ranges from about 70 m above sea level to 8,848 m. Topographically, the country can be divided into five roughly parallel zones from south to north. They are the Terai, the Siwaliks, the Middle Mountain, the High Mountain, and the High Himal. Over half of the population of the country lives in the hill mountain, and most are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood (WECS1995a).

Traditionally, the people of Nepal are heavily dependent on forests for the supply of fuelwood, fodder, and timber. Agricultural activities to produce food, fodder are still dominant mostly in the mountain regions of Nepal. Farmers are using forest land as an integral part in their farming system. In the Nepalese perspective agroforestry is an old age practice. Farmers are using forest land as an integral part in their farming system. Livestock rearing is an integral component of farming practice in Nepal.

Nepal, like other developing countries, is currently facing several agricultural and ecological problems:

exploitation of forest resources, soil degradation and loss, increasing population pressure and insecurity of land tenure. Agroforestry systems and practices hold promise for meeting these challenges. Agroforestry is a topic which has recently received considerable attention. The interest is largely due to increase agricultural productivity.

The aim of developing agroforestry within Nepal is to meet the present and future requirements of fuelwood, fodder, small timber and environmpntal protection. The single most important use of trees in Nepal, in agricultural terms, is for animal fodder. In Nepal there is an information gap between researchers, extensionists and farmers with regard to agroforestry.The study covered four physiographic zones of Nepal. Field work was done from September till November 1994 in the Terai and Mid Hills, while the High Hills and High Himal were studied during MarchIApril 1995. A transect survey covering from Terai (160 m) to the High Mountain (above.3000 rn)was carried out in the Eastern, Central and Far Western Development regions of Nepal. The survey,which lasted four months covered altogether 22 districts.The information was collected using Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Rural can Appraisal methods. A semi-structured questionnaire survey was carried out at the household level. Under the broad category of information specific questions relating to agroforestry systems being practised, its uses, limitations and opportunities were collected. To overcome problems of local dialect and to avoid fear which would otherwise be encountered by the local people, local residents were hired to administer the survey. The number and type of interviewees were different in different districts. Participant observations were made in the field to verify, to some extent, the answers given in the household survey. A total of 220 farmers were consulted in collecting the information.

The result of the survey indicated that the agroforestry systems practised by the Nepalese farmers vary according to the physiographic zones. The main determining biophysical factors are altitude and aspect. Within a physiographic zone, local variations are significant.           

Nepal's subsistence hill farmers have traditionally practised many types of agroforestry. Hill farming system are, in fact, based on strategies to manage forest, pasture, and arable lands simultaneously, and in an integrated fashion, to obtain essential items offood, shelter, and clothing.

The result of the survey indicates that there are two types of agroforestry systems currently in practice in Nepal. One is farm based and the other is forest based. Under farm based agroforestry systems the most important were Home Gardens, Trees in Agricultural Fields, Alley Cropping, Commercial Crops Under Tree Shade, Intercropping with

Horticultural Trees, Intercropping with Bamboo, Trees Around Agricultural Fields, Woodlot and Silvofishery. Under forest based agroforestry systems the important ones were Taungya System, Shifting Cultivation, Extraction and Production of Non-wood Forest Products, Silvopastoral Practices in Forests and Specific Agriculture Practices Associated with Forests.

There are 13 organizations in the country involved in developing agroforestry

  • Care - Nepal
  • Department of Forest Research and Survey
  • Herbal Crops Development and Extension Programme, Ministry of Forests and Spil Conservation.
  • Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Lumle Regional Agricultural Research Centre,National Agricultural Research Council,Mini stry of Agriculture
  • Nepal Agroforestry Foundation
  • Pakhribas Agricultural Centre, National Agricultural Research Council, Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Palpa Development Programme
  • Sagarnath Forestry Development Project, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.
  • Tribhuvan University, International Development Research Centre, Institute of Forestry, Institute of Animal Science.
  • United Mission to Nepal
  • Watershed Management Project, Department of Soil Conservation
  • Winrock International


Developing an Agroforestry System

While agroforestry is an attractive and sustainable system for climate change preparedness and adaptation, up‐front financing and opportunity costs can preclude people from adopting these measures. Benefits are delayed and food security can suffer during the process of converting land from pure crop

production to an integrated tree‐based system. One solution, currently being pursued by the Nepal Agroforestry Seed Cooperative Limited (NAFSCOL), is to integrate crops and livestock rearing into community forests. NAFSCOL trains farmers in nursery management, biodiversity conservation, seed harvesting, etc. and orients groups on resource sharing. Farmers then form committees to formulate policies governing the use of resources produced from community forests. As participants realize the benefits derived from the integrative systems, they have begun to reshape their own landholdings using similar approaches.

Transition from slash -and -burn (Khoriya) farming to permanent agroforestry in the Middle hills of Nepal; An analysis of costs, benefits and farmers’ adoption

Nepal’s Pro-poor Leasehold Forestry Program: Processes, Policies, Problems and Ways Forward


Nepal Agroforestry Foundation (NAF) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization established in 1991 by the group of agroforestry practitioners, leaders of community-based organizations (CBOs), professionals from various disciplines and farmers of Dhading, Kavrepalanchowk, Ramechhap and Sindhupalchowk districts of Nepal. The organization was formally registered with Kathmandu District Administration Office under the Society Registration Act 2034 B.S. and affiliated with the Social Welfare Council (SWC). Prier to formal registration, NAF members and farmers were involved for long time to promote both local and exotic food resources such as agricultural products, fodder, fuel wood and value of NTFP species. As a result, NAF came into existence and now become able to give its identity in Nepal as well as in various countries of mountain origin. NAF, as an umbrella organization, provides innovative agriculture techniques and agroforestry/community forestry support to CBOs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community forest users groups (CFUGs), and savings & credit cooperatives (SCOs) and is committed to strengthen the capacities of poor and marginalized communities and groups to meet their basic needs. NAF is the leading and only one national NGO working in agroforestry researches and development works in Nepal.


Who will take these actions?

 Government, Local NGO, INGOs, Private sector and individual

Where will these actions be taken?


How will these actions have a high impact in addressing climate change?

Emission will be reduced depending upon the number of tree survival. A single mature tree absorbs around 13 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, while a younger, actively growing tree may absorb up to 26 pounds of CO2, per year—approximately five tons per acre of trees.

What are other key benefits?

The key benefits are:

  • Preventing soil erosion
  • Protecting crops from wind damage
  • Ensuring proper drainage
  • Sequestering carbon
  • Allowing more diverse crops to be grown on the same parcel of land
  • Trees improve air and water quality
  • Trees provide shade to the landscape and reduce water needs
  • Trees help keep your home cooler
  • Trees slow stormwater runoff and help recharge groundwater
  • Trees reduce soil erosion
  • Trees add value – sometimes thousands of dollars’ worth – to your home and neighborhood


What are the proposal’s costs?

Proposal cost calculated in context of Nepal

  • Agroforestry awareness program in local level, regional level and national level - US$20000.00/-
  • Formation of the agroforestry farmers each group- US$100.00/-
  • Each group (20 person) 15 days training cost = US$6000.00/-
  • Tree plant (estimation based on 100 tree) purchase = US$100.00/-
  • Farmers receive inceptive after one year tree survival, per tree $2.00/year. Afterwards upto 5 years incentive increases per tree US$1.00/year. Total cost = US$2000.00/-

Administration cost = US$5000.00/-

Net cost = US$33,200.00/-


Time line

Within 1 year baseline survey

2-6 plant grow and implementation of the program

7-50 years cost benefit analysis

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