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Soil Conservation and Ecosystem Stability: Natural Resource Management through Agroforestry in Northwestern Himalayan Region

  • S. D. Kashyap
  • J. C. Dagar
  • K. S. Pant
  • A. G. Yewale
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 10)

Abstract

Northwestern Himalayan region is spread between 28°43′-37°05′ N latitude and 72°40′-81°02′ E longitude covering an approximate area of 33 million ha. The major natural resources of Western Himalayas are water, forests, floral, and faunal biodiversity. Forests constitute the major share in the land use of the region covering more than 65 % of the total geographical area of the region. The estimated annual soil loss from northwest Himalayas is approximately 35 million tons, which is estimated to cost around US $32.20 million. The rural population in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand constitutes 90.2, 75.2, and 74.3 %, respectively as compared to the national average of 72.2 %. The livestock population in the region has increased tremendously during last three decades and is 21.33 million against human population of 29.53 million (1:1.38). The agriculture including livestock continues to be the dominant sector despite the fact that the area is exposed to adverse and harsh geophysical and agri-silviculture conditions. Strategies by planting fodder trees or grasses in the waste/degraded lands (representing 7.9, 9.8 and 11.5 % of the geographical area in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttrakhand, respectively), is needed for enhancing the fodder production. In addition, farm spaces on terrace risers and improved crop production technology coupled with integration of agroforestry will help in bridging the gap between demand and supply of the fodder. The indigenous agroforestry systems such as homestead (kyaroo), plantation crop combinations, scattered trees on farm lands/field bunds and bamboo grove, etc., are practiced by the farming community. The land management operations are predominated by different indigenous agroforestry practices which have proven potential and hold promise in alleviating the poverty among rural masses of this hilly region. The agroforestry systems provide unique opportunity for integration of different components in the farming systems, which help to optimize the ecosystem functioning and better management of land, water, and biological resources. These systems need to be further improved with suitable technological interventions considering the local population need, so that the socioeconomic status of the farming communities uplifted. Experiences gained in managing natural resources through well-tested agroforestry systems have been shared in this chapter.

Keywords

Soil Loss Agroforestry System Himalayan Region Bamboo Species Sole Crop 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Kashyap
    • 1
  • J. C. Dagar
    • 2
  • K. S. Pant
    • 1
  • A. G. Yewale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry, College of ForestryDr. Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and ForestrySolanIndia
  2. 2.Natural Resource Management DivisionIndian Council of Agricultural ResearchPusaIndia

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