Livelihood Improvements and Climate Change Adaptations Through Agroforestry in Hot Arid Environments

  • J. C. Tewari
  • Moola Ram
  • M. M. Roy
  • Jagdish Chander Dagar
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 10)


Of the total area of arid zones of the world, Africa, accounts for 46.1 % followed by Asia (35.5 %). Majority of rest 19.4 % of arid zones are spread over in Australia, North America (Mexico and Southern part of USA), and South America. The hot Indian arid zone is spread in 31.7 million hectare area of which major part is in northwestern India (28.57 m ha) and some in southern India (3.13 m ha). The arid regions of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, and Haryana together constitute Great Indian Desert, better known as Thar. Arid western Rajasthan covers 61 % of total hot arid areas of the country and thus, forms the principal hot arid region of the country. Major part of it occurs between Aravalli ranges on the east and southeast and Thal desert of Pakistan (Thal desert is simply the western extension of Thar, only name has been changed) which is spread up to Suleman Kithara ranges in extreme west. The production and life support system in this part of hot Indian arid zone are constrained by climatic limitations. Sand dunes are dominant land formation of principal hot arid zone. More than 64 % area is sandy and intensities of dune vary from place to place. The human population density of this part of the country is quite high (127 person/km2) as compared to global average of 6–8 persons per km2 for arid zones. Large tracts of lands in Thar desert region of Rajasthan having widely scattered trees/shrubs of various species in association with crops of food grain and fodder as the best example of traditional agroforestry. The people of the region have evolved agroforestry-based drought protective mechanism through their ingenuity and centuries old experience, which has descended from one generation to other. Depending upon climatic, edaphic, socioeconomic, and cultural situation, drought hardy woody perennials, which are multipurpose in nature, are integrated in farming systems to develop productive systems in form of traditional agroforestry. This paper describes the structure and production functions of traditional agroforestry systems of the region and their improvement with emphasis on livelihood improvement and climate change adaptation potential of these systems.


Agroforestry System Arid Region Arid Zone Arable Crop Thar Desert 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Tewari
    • 1
  • Moola Ram
    • 1
  • M. M. Roy
    • 1
  • Jagdish Chander Dagar
    • 2
  1. 1.Central Arid Zone Research InstituteJodhpurIndia
  2. 2.Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan IIIndian Council of Agricultural ResearchNew DelhiIndia

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