“For carbon-neutral growth, India must focus on agroforestry”- an article by Dr Rita Sharma
Dr Rita Sharma, Former Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development and Member Secretary, National Advisory Council, Board Member World Agroforestry Centre and International Rice Research Institute in her article “For carbon-neutral growth, India must focus on agroforestry”, published by The Hindustan Times on 19th April 2022, has highlighted that Agroforestry is an established nature-based activity that has a great potential to aid carbon-neutral growth. In 2014, India became the first country to adopt an agroforestry policy and a sub-mission on Agroforestry (SMAF) was launched in 2016, which however is now merged with Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. This step has deprived the agroforestry sector of its most visible, flagship implementation arm.
The author has argued that the agroforestry sector needs to be institutionally bolstered from the perspective of its utility spectrum that knits farm-forestry, environmental protection and sustainable development. For a long time, agroforestry has fallen in the gap between “agriculture” and “forestry” with no clear ownership. It is time to shift agroforestry from the Agriculture Ministry to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change