Agroforestry environment, potentiality and risk in India: a remote sensing and GIS understanding

The study utilized the tree covers percent, agroforestry suitability, present and future (2050) climate, agriculture vulnerability (2050), percentage of people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) data sets and manoeuvered them in GIS platform to understand the agroforestry extent, potentiality and the critical multidimensional relationship among them. The total agroforestry area in India (if defined the tree cover percent greater than 10% on agricultural land) was found to be 28 million hectares that is approximately 17% of the total agriculture land area which is remarkably less (global average 43%). The analysis further revealed that the agriculture land potential in India towards the agroforestry suitability category (S1: High suitability) is alone 75.6 million hectares that are 2.7 times of total existing agroforestry extent. Among all agro-ecological regions of India, the Eastern Plain agro-ecological region has high cropland potentiality which will help significantly in magnifying agroforestry set-up in the future. The analysis further revealed a very high poverty percent (41–80%) category has approximately 5.3 million hectares of land under agroforestry, whereas the cropland potentiality (category S1) towards agroforestry was found approximately four times of the present agroforestry extent. The Western Ghats and the Coastal Plain agro-ecological region maintain a diversified agroforestry environment that will face double risk in the future (2050) due to precipitation deficit and also from significant temperature increase. Our analysis highlights the important agroforestry-related findings that will assist crucially to the decision-makers of India for implementing synergic strategies/planning of agroforestry at country/state/district/village levels.

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    Ahmad F, Uddin M M, Goparaju L, Talukdar N R, Rizvi J


    Agroforestry, GIS, Cropland potentiality, Tree cover, Poverty, Climate, India