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Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry Systems in India | OMICS International
ISSN: 2157-7617
Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change

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Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry Systems in India

Indu K Murthy*, Mohini Gupta, Sonam Tomar, Madhushree Munsi, Rakesh Tiwari GT Hegde and Ravindranath NH
Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Corresponding Author : Indu K Murthy
Centre for Sustainable Technologies
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Received December 02, 2012; Accepted December 28, 2012; Published January 15, 2013
Citation: Murthy IK, Gupta M, Tomar S, Munsi M, Tiwari R et al. (2013) Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry Systems in India. J Earth Sci Climate Change 4:131. doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000131
Copyright: © 2013 Murthy IK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Forestry has been recognized as a means to reduce CO2 emissions as well as enhancing carbon sinks. Forests are a large sink of carbon and their role in carbon cycles is well recognized. This paper reviews the role of agroforestry systems in carbon mitigation. Agroforestry provides a unique opportunity to combine the twin objectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation. It has the ability to enhance the resilience of the system for coping with the adverse impacts of climate change. Agroforestry systems offer important opportunities of creating synergies between both adaptation and mitigation actions. Various authors have carried out studies to estimate carbon stocks in different agroforestry systems in India. Agroforestry systems have the potential to provide significant mitigation options but they require proper management that influences the amount of carbon sequestered. The role of agroforestry practices in climate change mitigation in India can be realized to its full potential by overcoming various technical, financial and institutional barriers.

Agroforestry; Carbon sequestration potential; Soil organic carbon; Barriers
There is a growing interest in the role of different types of land use systems in stabilizing the atmospheric CO2 concentration and reducing the CO2 emissions or on increasing the carbon sink of forestry and agroforestry systems. Forestry has been recognized as a means to reduce CO2 emissions as well as enhancing carbon sinks. The role of forests (or trees) in carbon cycles is well recognized [1] and forests are a large sink of carbon [2,3]. There is considerable interest to increase the carbon storage capacity of terrestrial vegetation through land-use practices such as afforestation, reforestation, and natural regeneration of forests, silvicultural systems and agroforestry [4,5]. Agroforestry systems are very important given the area currently under agriculture, the number of people who depend on land for their livelihoods, and the need for integrating food production with environmental services [6-8].
Globally, climate negotiations have highlighted the importance of land use sectors in mitigating the climate change. Agriculture alone accounts for 10-12% of the total global anthropogenic emissions of GHGs with an estimated non-CO2 GHG emission of 5120-6116 MtCO2 eq/yr in 2005 [9]. Since agricultural lands are often intensively managed, they offer many opportunities to improve agronomic practices, nutrient and water management, land use practices to fit the land managers’ objectives of carbon sequestration. The total carbon sequestration potential of global croplands is about 0.75-1Pg/yr or about 50% of the 1.6-1.8 Pg/yr lost due to deforestation and other agricultural activities [10].
The emphasis of land use systems that have higher carbon content than existing plant community can help achieve net gains in carbon, specifically and significant increases in carbon storage can be achieved by moving from lower biomass land uses [e.g. grasslands, crop fallows, etc] to tree based systems such as forests, plantation forests and agroforestry [11]. Agroforestry provides a unique opportunity to combine the twin objectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Although agroforestry systems are not primarily designed for carbon sequestration, there are many recent studies that substantiate the evidence that agroforestry systems can play a major role in storing carbon in aboveground biomass [12-16] and in soil [17] and in belowground biomass [17]. Some of the earliest assessments of national and global terrestrial carbon dioxide sinks reveal two beneficial attributes of agroforestry systems (a) direct near term storage [decades to centuries] in trees and soils and (b) the potential to offset immediate GHG emissions associated with deforestation and subsequent shifting cultivation [18].
In this paper, we present a review of carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems, particularly India and highlight the need for more studies estimating the potential of agroforestry systems given the multiple benefits of such systems and the potential to provide synergy between climate change mitigation and adaptation by way of decreasing the vulnerability of communities to climate risks and climate change in the long run.
Carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems
Agroforestry, the practice of introducing trees in farming has played a significant role in enhancing land productivity and improving livelihoods in both developed and developing countries. Although carbon sequestration through afforestation and reforestation of degraded natural forests has long been considered useful in climate change mitigation, agroforestry offers some distinct advantages. The planting of trees along with crops improves soil fertility, controls and prevents soil erosion, controls water logging, checks acidification and eutrophication of streams and rivers, increases local biodiversity, decreases pressure on natural forests for fuel and provides fodder for livestock [8]. It also has the ability to enhance the resilience of the system for coping with the adverse impacts of climate change.
The effectiveness of agroforestry systems in storing carbon depends on both environmental and socio-economic factors; in humid tropics, agroforestry systems have the potential to sequester over 70 Mg/ha in the top 20 cm of the soil [14].The carbon storage capacity in agroforestry varies across species and geography [19]. Further, the amount of carbon in any agroforestry system depends on the structure and function of different components within the systems put into practice [20,21].
The fact that agroforestry systems can function as both source and sink of carbon has been presented in literature [13,18]. There is also clear evidence to suggest that the type of agroforestry system greatly influences the source or sink role of the trees. For example, agrisilvicultural systems where trees and crops are grown together are net sinks while agro silvipastoral systems are possibly sources of GHGs [22]. Practices like tillage, controlled burning, manuring, application of chemical fertilizers and frequent soil disturbance can lead to significant emissions of GHGs [13]. According to the IPCC [9] agroforestry systems offer important opportunities of creating synergies between both adaptation and mitigation actions with a technical mitigation potential of 1.1-2.2 PgC in terrestrial ecosystems over the next 50 years. Additionally, 630 Mha of unproductive croplands and grasslands could be converted to agroforestry representing a carbon sequestration potential of 391,000 MgC/yr by 2010 and 586,000 MgC/yr by 2040 [23]. The carbon in the aboveground and belowground biomass in an agroforestry system is generally much higher than the equivalent land use without trees (i.e. crop land without any trees).
The estimates of potential for carbon storage in different kinds of agroforestry systems are provided in Table 1. In Southeast Asia, agrisilvicultural systems have the capacity to store 12-228 MgC/ha in humid tropical lands and 68-81 MgC/ha in dry lowlands. Highest potential for carbon storage can be observed for North American silvi pastoral systems with a range of 90-198 MgC/ha. The potential to sequester carbon in aboveground components in agroforestry systems is estimated to be 2.1×109 MgCyear-1 in tropical and 1.9×109 MgCyear-1 in temperate biomes [24].Agroforestry systems can have indirect effects on carbon sequestration as it helps decrease pressure on natural forests that are the largest sinks of terrestrial carbon, they also conserve soils and thus enhance carbon storage in trees and soils. Effects of agroforestry practices on the soil carbon pool indicated a rate of increase by 2-3 MgC/ha/yr [25]. Estimations of carbon sequestration potential in various studies report an estimated potential of 6.3GtC [26] and 0.7-1.6 GtC [27].
The carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems has been established theoretically; however field measurements to validate these concepts are limited. The inherent variability in the estimates of potential carbon storage in agroforestry systems and the lack of uniform methodologies has made comparisons difficult [23]. Few studies of specific agroforestry practices have proved potential for carbon sequestration [28,29].
Agroforestry in India
India has a long tradition of agroforestry practices. The agroforestry systems in India include trees on farms, community forestry and a variety of local forest management and ethno forestry practices [30]. In India, the practice of growing scattered trees on farmlands is quite old and has not changed much over centuries; these trees are multipurpose, used for shade, fodder, fuel wood, fruit, vegetables and medicinal uses. Trees like Eucalyptus and Populus are also grown in agricultural fields or on field bunds often on farm boundaries in Punjab and Haryana. Shifting cultivation in the Northeast India and Taungya cultivation in Kerala, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh and to a limited extent in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, as well as in the Northeast hill regions are examples of traditional Indian agroforestry systems. Besides, home gardens, wood lots, large cardamom plantations of Eastern Himalayas and plantations elsewhere and Alder based agriculture in Northeast India are other kinds of agroforestry systems.
Geographical spread of traditional agroforestry systems
Shifting cultivation, homegardens and plantation-based cropping systems are mostly practiced in humid tropical regions. In India, home gardens are found in Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Taungya, boundary plantations, live hedges, range land trees are agroecologically adapted to all regions. Boundary plantations are found in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, in parts of south India, particularly the Nilgiri hills, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. Woodlots are found in hilly areas whereas shelter belts are found in wind-prone regions like coastal areas. In India, woodlots are found in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Assam. Scattered trees on farmlands are found in all regions specially arid and semi-arid. Agro-silvo-pastoral practices are found in semiarid regions of India. Below we describe the major agroforestry practices in four important regions of India.
Northeast India: The major form of agroforestry practiced in the region is shifting cultivation (jhum). The entire socio-economic structure is woven around this system and farmers maintain high species diversity. However with reduced shifting cultivation cycle, the system has become ecologically unsound and has resulted in forest degradation. Agroforestry has the potential of restoration and maintenance of soil fertility, and increase in productivity. Some of the agroforestry systems followed in the area are Agri-horticulture, Silvipastoral, Agri-silviculture, Silvi-horticulture, Pastoral-silviculture and home gardens [31-35].
Northwest India: The states of Gujarat and Rajasthan receive scanty and erratic rainfall and failure of crop is a regular phenomenon. Agroforestry practices have the potential to minimize the impact of extreme climate condition and can provide alternate income to the people. One of the major practices involves combining Prosopis cineraria with other agricultural crops in this region [36,37].
The Western Ghats: Managed ecosystems of Western Ghats present a complex pattern with a great diversity of trees and field crops. Agroforestry systems where trees are grown with crops, and/ or sometimes animals, in interacting combinations in space or time dimensions are abound in the Western Ghats region. In particular, plantation agriculture involving coffee (Coffea spp.), tea (Camellia sinensis), and spices in association with a wide spectrum of trees and para rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), rice-based cropping systems, coconut (Cocos nucifera) based cropping systems, and homestead farming systems dominate the region [38].
Southern India: In the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, numerous forms of agroforestry are popular. Home gardens and multistory combinations involving plantation crops are prevalent in Kerala; tree-spice gardens, and crop combinations involving them are common in coastal Karnataka; energy plantations, especially of Casuarina spp., are popular in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and various forms of intercropping with fruit trees and silk cotton tree (Ceiba petandra) are widespread in Tamil Nadu [39-42].
Benefits of agroforestry systems
Agroforestry has the potential to provide both economic and environmental benefits [20,43]. Some of the major benefits of maintaining agroforestry systems are discussed below.
Improved soil fertility: Enhancing and maintaining soil fertility is vital for food security, reducing poverty, preserving environment and for sustainability [30,44]. Agroforestry land use systems like agrohorticulture, agro-pastoral system, agri-silvipastoral system, etc., are efficient ways of restoring soil organic matter [30]. Studies have also shown that yield is higher with improved crop rotation than with continuous cropping [44]. The leaf litter from agroforestry practices, forms humus after decomposition and improves various soil properties [45]. Agroforestry can control runoff and soil erosion, thereby reducing losses of water, soil material, organic matter and nutrients. It can check development of soil toxicities, both soil acidification and salinization and trees can be employed in the reclamation of polluted soils.
Increased income: The diverse component of agroforestry provides multiple harvests at different times of the year. It increases food production, improves supply of fodder for fish and livestock, increases supply of fuelwood, improves soil fertility and water supply, habitats, etc. Thus it reduces the risk of crop failure and ensures alternate income for the farmers [30].
Increased carbon stock: Agroforestry has a huge potential as mitigation strategy to the changing climate because of its potential to sequester carbon in its multiple plant species and soil [13,21,45]. The average carbon sequestered by these practices has been estimated to be 9, 21, 50, and 63 MgCha-1 in semiarid, sub-humid, humid, and temperate regions. In tropics, for small agroforestry systems, it has been found to be ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 MgCha-1yr-1 and thus can be a viable strategy for carbon storage [11,13]. In degraded soils of the subhumid tropics, agroforestry practices have been found to increase top soil carbon stocks up to 1.6MgCha-1yr-1 [14]. Thus, proper designing and managing of agroforests can make them effective carbon sinks.
Reduced vulnerability: Agroforestry increases the resilience of farming systems by buffering against various risks, both biophysically (hydraulic lift, soil fertility) and financially (diversification, income risk) [15]. Other advantages include reducing seasonal labor peaks, earn income throughout the year and ensure benefits over the short, medium and long term [46].
Increased productivity: Studies show that forest influenced soils give higher yields than ordinary soils. Taungya cultivators got higher yields than from pure agriculture in Tarai region of Uttar Pradesh. IGFRI, Jhansi conducted experiments that indicated increased yield of fodder when fodder grasses were intercropped with fodder trees as compared to mono cropping of fodder grass. In South India, and states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, intercropping agroforestry food crops was found to be more productive [47].
Aesthetic Value: Can create a healthy environment-interaction. Agroforestry from agroforestry practices can enhance the soil, water, air, animal and human resources of the farm. Agroforestry practices may use only 5% of the farming land area, yet account for over 50% of the biodiversity, improving wildlife habitat and harboring birds and beneficial insects which feed on crop pests. Tree biodiversity adds variety to the landscape and improves aesthetics.
Other advantages include-utilization of solar energy more efficiently than monocultural systems, reduced insect pests and associated diseases, increased nitrogen inputs because of nitrogenfixing trees and shrubs and it can also moderate microclimates. Shelter given by trees improves yields of nearby crops and livestock.
Carbon Stocks in Agroforestry Systems in India
Carbon sequestration in different agroforestry systems occurs both belowground, in the form of enhancement of soil carbon plus root biomass and aboveground as carbon stored in standing biomass. Some of the earliest studies of potential carbon storage in agroforestry systems and alternative land use systems for India had estimated a sequestration potential of 68-228 MgC/ha [2], 25tC/ha over 96 Mha of land [48]. But this value varies in different regions depending on the biomass production [30]. Studies done by Jha et al. [49] showed that agroforestry could store nearly 83.6 tC/ha up to 30 cm soil depth, 26% more carbon compared to cultivation in Haryana plains. However, the magnitude of carbon sequestration from forestry activities would depend on the scale of operation and the final use of wood.
Agrisilvicultural systems
Carbon sequestration in tree biomass: Maikhuri et al. [50] estimated species wise annual carbon sequestration potential of planted tree species on abandoned agricultural land (3.9 t/ha/yr) and degraded forest land (1.79 t/ha/yr). The highest carbon sequestration was found for Alnus nepaliensis 0.256 tC/ha/yr and Dalbergia sissoo 0.141 tC/ha/ yr intercropped with wheat and paddy. In a 6 year old Gmelina arborea based agri-silvicultural system 31.37 tC/ha was sequestered [51]. In another study the carbon sequestration in monocropping of trees and food crops were 40% and 84% less than agri-silviculture indicating that agroforestry systems have more potential to sequester carbon [52]. In an agri-silvicultural system, Dalbergia sissoo at age 11 years was able to accumulate 48-52 t/ha of biomass [19]. Carbon dynamics involving different pruning treatments were studied in an agri-silvicultural system where tree biomass was 23.61 to 34.49 tC/ha with black gram-mustard. In a study on poplar based agri-silvicultural system, total biomass in the system was 25.2 t/ha, 113.6% higher than sole wheat cultivation, where net carbon storage was 34.61 tC/ha compared to 18.74 tC/ha in sole wheat cultivation [53]. In a system comprising Albizia and mixed tree species like Mandarin accumulated 1.3 t biomass/ha storing 6939 kg/ha in tree and crop biomass was reported [54].
Soil organic carbon enhancement: In a study conducted on intercropping of trees with crops, Singh et al. [55] reported an enhancement in SOC by 33.3 to 83.3% for Populus deltoides and Eucalyptus hybrid with Cymbopogon sp., with a greater increase in SOC under Populus deltoides plantation. Soil organic carbon has been reported to have improved for agroforestry plantations ranging in age from 6 years [50] to 20 years [56]. In a Poplar based agroforestry system, trees could sequester higher soil organic carbon up to 30cm depth during the first year of plantation (6.07 t/ha/yr) than in subsequent years (1.95-2.63 t/ha/yr) with greater soil carbon storage in sandy clays than loamy sand [57]. Traditional Prosopis cineraria based systems lead to a 50% increase in SOC largely due to leaf litter [58]. Samra and Singh [59] observed an increase in soil organic carbon status of surface soil by 0.39 to 0.52% under Acacia nilotica+Sacchram munja and 0.44 to 0.55% under Acacia nilotica+Eulaliopsis binata after 5 years.
Silvipastoral systems
Carbon sequestration in tree biomass: Comparative studies conducted by NRCAF [60] on biomass production from natural grassland and silvipastoral system comprising Albizia amara, Dichrostachys cinerea and Leucaena leucocephala as woody perennials with Chrysopogan fulvus as grass and Stylosanthes hamata and S. scabra as legume revealed that in 8 years, rate of biomass carbon stored in silvipastoral system was 6.72 tC/ha/yr, two times more than 3.14 tC/ ha/yr from natural grassland. Singh [61] estimated the total carbon sequestered in farm forestry with species such as Eucalyptus sp., Populus deltoides, Tectona grandis, Anthocephalus chinensis trees to be around 16,400 t/yr. Rai et al. [62] studied the effect of introducing a silvipastoral system in a natural grassland in semi arid Uttar Pradesh, where introduced species of Albizia procera, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Albizia lebbeck, Embilica officinalis and Dalbergia sissoo accumulated 8.6, 6.92, 6.52, 6.25 and 5.41 t/ha/yr of biomass. Here, the carbon storage in the system was 1.89-3.45 tC/ha in silvipasture and 3.94 tC/ha in pure pasture. Saharan et al. [63] reported an increase in organic carbon of 1.7 to 2.3 times in a silvipastoral system involving Leucaenea leucocephala, Cenchrus ciliaris and Stylosanthes hamata compared to a control. Similar studies have reported higher organic carbon levels in dry sub-humid and arid ecosystems when grass species are intercropped with annual crops in a silvipastoral system with no increase in organic carbon with grasses in an arid ecosystem [58]. In a silvipastoral system, carbon flux in net primary productivity increased due to the integration of Prosopis juliflora and Dalbergia sissoo with grasses [64].
Soil organic carbon enhancement: Narain [65] reported that planting trees and grasses in degraded lands in arid areas can help increase soil carbon stock from 24.3Pg to 34.9 Pg. Studies conducted at RRS, Kukma have reported a total belowground carbon stock of 1.6 t/ ha, 23.4% of the total carbon stock under silvipastoral system involving Acacia tortilis and Cenchrus setegerus [66].
Carbon stored in block and boundary plantations: In a study done by Kumar [67] on four different agroforestry systems (Populus deltoides block plantation+wheat, Eucalyptus hybrid boundary plantation+wheat, Populus deltoides boundary plantation+wheat and Populus deltoides block plantation+lemon grass), all 9-year old block and boundary plantations, it was observed that total carbon sequestration [in trees] was 70.59 , 21.38 , 116.29 and 18.53 tCha−1 in system Populus deltoides+wheat followed by 68.53 , 20.63 , 113.03 and 17.60 tCha-1 in system Populus deltoides+Lemon grass, respectively, with a greater potential for carbon sequestration in boundary plantations of Populus deltoides and Eucalyptus hybrid. In a study on mitigation potential of block plantations in farm forestry, Hooda et al. [68] estimated a mitigation potential of 48.5, 62.7, 61.7, 60.8, 37.6 tC/ ha/yr respectively for Khair, Chir pine, mixed plantations, Mango and Kinoo based farm forestry systems in Uttaranchal.
Biomass and carbon stocks in agroforestry systems–Case studies from Tamilnadu and Karnataka
A study was conducted by Indian Institute of Science as a part of the larger study on natural resource monitoring in selected village ecosystems of southern India falling in different agro-ecological zones. The study was conducted in 4 villages each in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where all the trees on croplands were inventoried. Here we present the results of the agroforestry study conducted in the Karnataka villages that fall in the north Sahyadris and western Karnataka plateau and the central Karnataka plateau and the Tamil Nadu villages located in the Tamil Nadu uplands and plains agro-ecological zone [69].
All the villages of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu practice agroforestry on irrigated as well as rainfed croplands–either as bund or block plantations. Coconut, followed by mango is the predominant species in agroforestry systems of the study villages. Other species include Anacardium occidentale, Artocarpus integrifolia, Areca and Acacia auriculiformis among others. The biomass and carbon stocks estimated in the agroforestry systems of the villages studied in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are presented in Table 2.
Among the Karnataka villages, highest biomass carbon stock is recorded in Sirsimakki (about 5 tC/ha of biomass carbon), followed by Lukkeri, a coastal village (8.5 t/ha of biomass carbon). In the Tamil Nadu villages, the biomass stocks in 2 of the 4 villages is higher than that recorded in the Karnataka villages and it is in the range of 1.3 to 12 t/ha. The biomass carbon stock varies from village to village but is significant. Even if one takes an average of carbon stock (3.93 tC/ ha) and if one considers a conservative crop area of about 100 million ha, the carbon stock in agroforestry systems could be estimated to be 392.84 MtC for India. This excludes soil organic carbon stocks.
Planting of multipurpose tree species in non-forest land categories serves a dual purpose, i.e. promotion of biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Trees serve as additional source of income at the time of crop failures [70,71]. They also provide economic rewards from the non carbon benefits [72,73]. A tree planting design with a combination of fast and slow growing species is useful, for different rotation rates of the two species render valuable wood that is economically beneficial, as well as wood for use as fuelwood and for construction purposes [74].
Further, trees on farms have the potential to improve productivity in two ways. Tree-crop combination can increase the amount of water that is used on farm and can also increase the productivity of water that is used by increasing biomass of trees or crops produced per unit of water. Evidence from semi-arid India and Kenya has shown that the greater productivity of agroforestry systems is primarily due to the higher amount of water used [75]. Higher biomass of ecosystems is associated with higher diversity, and higher species diversity leads to greater carbon sequestration. The management of agricultural lands will therefore play an important role in enhancing carbon sinks and in turn reducing emissions. Land use management measures such as conservation of existing tree cover, promotion of agroforestry, etc. will not only have positive impacts on biodiversity but also promote the use of biomass fuels, replacing the fossil fuels, thereby contributing to net reduction in CO2 emissions. Also, an integrated farming approach would bring about change in soil quality, ground water level and thereby improving agricultural productivity, giving the farmer a diversity of products. Tree cultivation on agricultural land improves biomass productivity per unit area and also uses nutrients from different soil layers. Further, land such as bund and avenues that are hitherto not cultivated would increase the tree cover of the landscape [76].
Agroforestry systems show significant carbon accumulation in living biomass, as well as soil carbon, demonstrating the potential to offer the environmental service of carbon sequestration. Furthermore, agroforestry systems can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by avoiding burning of forest-based fuelwood and conserving soil. Besides the potential of agroforestry system to accumulate and sequester carbon, these systems could evolve into a technological alternative for reducing deforestation rates in tropical zones while also offering a wide variety of products and services to rural communities.
The Greening India mission under the National Climate Change Action Plan targets 1.5 Mha of degraded agricultural lands and fallows to be brought under agroforestry; about 0.8 Mha under improved agroforestry practices on existing lands and 0.7 Mha of additional lands under agroforestry [77].Much of the opportunity to store carbon through afforestation in India will occur through agroforestry on agricultural lands due to the fact that majority of arable land in India is being cultivated [78]. The total potential for agroforestry has been estimated at 25.36 Mha with almost half of it under tree borne oilseeds, silvipasture and others by 2025 [60].
The role of agroforestry practices in climate change mitigation in India can be realized to its full potential by overcoming technical barriers (management skills), financial and institutional (differing interests between farmers and forests departments and industry) and by implementation of targeted policies and incentives. There is need for research on the potential impacts of climate change on agroforestry systems. The development of appropriate silviculture and management techniques for shelterbelt and field bund planting requires careful attention in arid and semi-arid areas. Besides the potential of agroforestry system to accumulate and sequester carbon, these systems could evolve into a technological option for reducing the vulnerability of farming system to climate variability and climate change impacts. Agroforestry provides the best example of promoting mitigation and adaptation synergy in addressing climate change [79].



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