Multipurpose trees and shrubs on farmlands in Tamil Nadu State (India)
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Farmers in Tamil Nadu State integrate numerous species of multipurpose trees and shrubs on their farmlands in close association with agricultural crops and/or livestock. The dominant among them areBorassus flabellifer, Tamarindus indica, Ceiba pentandra, Acacia leucophloea andA. nilotica.
These woody perennials are better able to cope with poor growing conditions. Their increasing integration on farmlands represents a strategy to minimise risk of crop failure. Some species (e.g.Prosopis juliflora andDelonix elata) are deliberately used to ameliorate infertile or saline soils in order to permit the growing of annual crops. In addition to producing fuelwood, charcoal, fruit and fodder and providing many service functions, these species require only fewer inputs and give the farmer a choice of management options in the event of poor crop growth. The productivity of these traditionally managed and little-studied agroforestry systems can considerably be improved by scientific interventions.
Key wordsagroforestry agrisilviculture agrosilvopasture multipurpose trees economic fallow green manure waste reclamation
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