Agroforestry in Punjab

Punjab, India

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The State of Punjab is an agriculture intensive state with a traditional rice-wheat cropping system that has contributed towards food security of the country. Agroforestry has emerged as one of the viable alternatives for diversification from existing rice-wheat rotation. At present, more than 80% demand of wood and wood products in the country is met from the agroforestry sector, 6% from natural forest and 12% from import. The farmers could benefit from around Rs. 300-400 crore per year in addition to the timber value on the basis of existing carbon price in the voluntary market. The carbon finance program will enhance the income of farmers and also help Punjab to move forward towards carbon neutrality.

3287 villages

Covered under the project to improve livelihood with the help of self-help groups that are created

Rs. 300-400 crore

worth of benefits to the farmer per year

Approx. 6.5 million tons of CO2

can be sequestered per year through the help of this project

Background of Project

Agroforestry can contribute more than 2 billion tons of CO2e reductions by 2030 if the government provides them Minimum Support Price (MSP) of timber produced by farmers. Due to lack of MSP, whenever there is a glut in the market, farmers have to sell timber at throwaway prices. However, agroforestry can supplement farm income by selling the carbon credits in the carbon markets, enable risk reduction and contribute towards climate resilience. Different tree species are traditionally grown in the various agro-climatic zones of Punjab. The main tree species adopted by the farmers on their agriculture fields as block and boundary plantations are Poplar, Eucalyptus and Dek. Also, the demand for timber and other tree-based products is increasing day by day and one feasible alternative to fulfill such a demand would be adopting agroforestry practice as this is one system that can provide both wood and food while at the same time conserve and rehabilitate ecosystems.

The Project

The project area comprises of 500,000+ hectares. The selected 5 districts are from the Kandi Area and they are – Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar and Pathankot. At the village level, Self-Help Groups would be formed to manage and monitor project activities. Capacities would be built for the frontline staff of all the 5 districts. Other components include capacity building of forest personnel through training programs on remote sensing, use of GIS & GPS, for real time monitoring of forest dynamics, preparation of project design document (PDD) and the registration of the program under verified carbon standards (VCS). There will be suitable capacity building development programs for the forest personnel as well as the members of the SHGs. The details of this will be included in the Monitoring Report. The potential of carbon sequestration in five districts (Roopnagar, Hoshiyarpur, Ajit Singh Nagar, Shahid Bhagat Singh and Pathankot) is around 6-6.5 million tons of CO2 per year.

The Benefits

The projects provide livelihood upliftment for marginalised farmers by the generation of additional income from carbon credits. It promotes local financing arrangements for restoration of degraded lands by resource-poor farmers, as well as promotion of farmer-industry partnerships with buy-back arrangements. It also promotes gender sensitive strategies and improved regulations on cultural reservation. It improves air quality, soil quality, and biodiversity from the afforestation of degraded lands. The project helps improve access to better education on health and safety.