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Greening and Restoration of Wasteland with Agroforestry

Why is it in the news?

  • The NITI Aayog recently launched the ‘Greening and Restoration of Wasteland with Agroforestry (GROW)’ report and portal to enhance environmental conservation and promote sustainable land use

About GROW initiative

  • GROW is a collaborative effort involving multiple institutions, with NITI Aayog taking the lead.
  • The initiative employs advanced technologies such as remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to assess the suitability of agroforestry in different regions of India.

Key Features:

  • GROW provides detailed analyses at both state and district levels, supporting various government departments and industries in planning and implementing greening and restoration projects.
  • It emphasizes the potential benefits of utilizing underutilized areas, particularly wastelands, for agroforestry purposes.
  • GROW has developed an Agroforestry Suitability Index (ASI) for prioritizing agroforestry activities at the national level. This index helps in identifying areas with the highest potential for successful agroforestry interventions.
  • The GROW-Suitability Mapping portal, named Bhuvan, provides universal access to state and district-level data. This portal allows stakeholders to access crucial information related to agroforestry suitability and plan interventions accordingly.
  • The GROW initiative aligns with national commitments aimed at restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
  • It also aims to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts.
Agroforestry in India

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Agroforestry currently covers 8.65% of India’s total geographical area, accounting for approximately 28.42 million hectares.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Agroforestry promotion is essential for various reasons, including reducing the import of wood and wood products, carbon sequestration, and optimizing the use of arable land.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Fallow land and culturable wastelands can be effectively converted into productive assets through agroforestry practices.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Approximately 16.96% of India’s total geographical area is classified as wasteland. Proper transformation and utilization of these wastelands are crucial for enhancing productivity and sustainability.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Geospatial technologies, including GIS, are instrumental in mapping and prioritizing wastelands for agroforestry interventions.

Related Government Initiatives

  • The Government of India, through its Union Budget (FY-2022-23), has emphasized the promotion of agroforestry and private forestry.
  • Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP): IWDP focuses on developing wastelands, particularly in non-forest areas, by actively involving local communities.
  • Wasteland Reclamation Strategies: It aims to restore desolate landscapes, revive biodiversity, and enhance economic and ecological value.
  • Technological Interventions for Wasteland Reclamation: Various technological interventions, such as mulching, greenhouse cultivation, net houses, and high-density plantation, can help make wastelands fertile.
  • State-wise Utilization of Wastelands: Certain states, such as Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, have significant potential for utilizing wastelands due to their extensive areas of such lands.

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