Agroforestry systems for soil and water conservation and sustainable production from foothill areas of north India
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Some conservation based agroforestry systems (AFS) were developed for possible adoption in place of high risk rainfed farming on land capability classes Ito IV of a typical topo-sequence of foothill north India. The agri-silvi-horticulture system integrating leucaena, lemon, papaya and turmeric on class I irrigated land provided sustainable mean net returns of Rs. 17066 against Rs. 7852 ha.−1 yr.−1 from double cropped agricultural system. The intercropping of cluster beans with leucaena gave the highest net returns of Rs. 3540 ha.−1 yr.−1 in the agri-silvicultural system adopted on class II land. Eucalyptus terettcornis (Smith) in top and Bhabbar grass (Eulaliopsis binata Retz) in the understorey on a sandy loam class III land gave four years (1985–1988) mean air dry grass yield of 4.2 (used for paper pulp) from October and 1.19 t. ha−1 yr.−1 (used for fodder) from June cut. The net returns from grass alone were Rs. 4672 against Rs. 1679 ha.−1 yr.−1 from rainfed field crops raised on an adjoining plot. The returns from trees would be additional. Bhabbar grass raised under Acacia species on a 25 to 30% sloping gravelly class IV land provided yield varying from 2.18 to 4.31 from October cut and 0.50 to 1.1 t. ha.−1 yr.−1 from June cut with 6 years mean of 3.9 t. ha.−1 yr.−1 which at 1988 prices provided net returns of Rs. 2402 ha−1. These AFS proved superior to traditional farming on each land capability class.
Key wordsagroforestry Leucaena leucocephala Eucalyptus tereticornis Acacia species rainfed agriculture grass yield net returns north India
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