Agro Forestry

Today, agroforestry is taught as a part of forestry- and agriculture-degree courses in many universities in both the developing and industrialized Countries. Agroforestry, instead of being merely the handmaiden of forestry, is being used more as an agricultural system, particularly for small-scale farmers. Today, the potential of agroforestry for soil improvement and conservation is generally accepted. Indeed, agroforestry is fast becoming recognized as a land use system which is capable of yielding both wood and food while at the same time conserving and rehabilitating ecosystems.

It is clear that the tremendous possibilities of production systems involving some combination of trees with agricultural crops are widely recognized, and that research aimed at developing the potential of such systems is planned or exists in a number of scattered areas. Equally evident is the inadequacy of the present effort to improve a lot of the tropical forest dweller who are mostly tribals by such means. A new front can and should be opened in the war against hunger, inadequate shelter, and environmental degradation. This war can be fought with weapons that have been in the arsenal of rural people since time immemorial, and no radical change in their life style is required. VRO initiated the promotion of Agro Forestry in active collaboration with the forest department of the state Government with the tribals dwelling in and around forest land. We have so far covered 10 villages both in AP and Odisha and the people have taken up plantation of fruit trees and plantation of fruit trees and cashew nuts. The result is that the green cover has increased. The income of the families involved has enhanced by the inter cropping and the relationship between the village community and government departments are strengthened. It is heartening to say that this year VRO has facilitated planting of 5,116 saplings.