- Agroforestry protecting natural forests, economically benefiting growers; study reveals
Agroforestry Protecting Natural Forests, Economically Benefiting Growers; Study Reveals
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Fri 18th September 2020 | 03:44 PM
A recent study conducted by WWF-Pakistan on agroforestry has revealed that the practice is not only found to be a source of protection for natural forests in the country but also giving significant economic benefits to growers
PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Sep, 2020 ):A recent study conducted by WWF-Pakistan on agroforestry has revealed that the practice is not only found to be a source of protection for natural forests in the country but also giving significant economic benefits to growers.
The study was aimed at determining the current status of agroforestry, total volume of wood stock consumed by MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and Particle based industries from private land and to identify the prospective of farmers either they are satisfied or not from agroforestry practices.
The title of the study is 'Role of MDF & Particleboard Industry in Protection of Natural Forest and Promotion of Agroforestry in Pakistan'.
The study conducted in three provinces of Pakistan including Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sind also found that besides economic benefits of agroforestry, the environment contribution in terms of offsetting the total GHGs MtCO2 emission of the country is impressive.
The total wood weight in the three provinces accounts to 223.13 Million tonnes whereas the total carbon contents of this amounts to 131.109 million tonnes and its carbon sink amounts to 480.67 MtCO2.
This compares very favorably with the total emissions of the country which stood at 374 million tonnes in 2012, reads the study.
In Pakistan, total timber consumption is estimated at 6.06 million m3 in 2012-13 in which farmland contribute a major of timber which accounts for 87.4 percent.
The study also negated the impression that agroforestry is competing for land with agriculture because 85 percent of agroforestry is found to be linear plantation.
"In the current age of ecological sustainability and conservational awareness, agroforestry plays an important role as an eco-friendly and sustainable approach as a substitute for traditional farming practices," the study added.
Agroforestry is an essential part of the farming system as it helps to support sustainable agriculture income from the farmlands. It has now transformed into one of the major agricultural economic streams as the wood produced on the farmlands has become the principal raw material for many conditions, the document continued.
The study claims that agroforestry development will also help achieving several Sustainable Development Goals including No Poverty, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Climate Action and Life on Land.
About the economic benefits, the study claimed that net annual return from Eucalyptus plantation is 20-25 percent more than any combination of other cash crops in KP, Punjab and Sind.
It also suggested for carrying focused research to ascertain the real potential of agroforestry and clarifying the myths and misperception like in the case of Eucalyptus.
There is a need for a separate agroforestry policy or making a separate section within the National Forest Policy.
In Pakistan, 9.14 million hectares (11.5% of the total geographical area of the country) of cultivable wasteland is available and there is need to promote agroforestry expansion on all the water logged, saline, arid and semi-arid areas.
"Agroforestry has not been properly organized and still there is a misperception in some quarters that the trees on farmlands reduce crop yields. However, the introduction of Eucalyptus, Poplar and Sasbania has changed the rural trend in many areas," the study concludes.