NITI Aayog Launches GROW Initiative to Promote Agroforestry for Land Restoration

NITI Aayog Launches GROW Initiative to Promote Agroforestry for Land Restoration

The GROW (Greening and Restoration of Wasteland with Agroforestry) initiative, led by NITI Aayog, aims to utilize agroforestry for greening and restoring degraded land in India. The initiative involves the development of the Agroforestry Suitability Index (ASI) using remote sensing and GIS techniques.

Launch of GROW Report and Portal

  • Date and Venue: The GROW report and portal were launched by Prof Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, at NITI Aayog.
  • Objective: Utilizing remote sensing and GIS to assess agroforestry suitability across all districts in India.
  • Key Features:
    • Development of the Agroforestry Suitability Index (ASI) for national-level prioritization.
    • Provision of state-wise and district-wise analysis in the report.
    • The GROW-Suitability Mapping portal on Bhuvan for universal access to data.

Current Status of Agroforestry in India

  • Coverage: Agroforestry currently covers 8.65% of India’s total geographical area, totaling about 28.42 million hectares.
  • Potential Benefits: The report underscores the potential benefits of converting underutilized areas, especially wastelands, for agroforestry.
  • Alignment with National Commitments: The GROW initiative aligns with national commitments to restore degraded land and create additional carbon sinks.

Importance of Agroforestry

  • Addressing Key Issues: Promotion of agroforestry addresses issues like reducing wood imports, carbon sequestration, and optimal use of arable land.
  • Long-Term Benefits: Prof Ramesh Chand highlighted the long-term benefits and the promotion of space technology in agriculture through this project.

Panel Discussion Highlights

  • Participants: Panelists included experts from various domains like agroforestry research, finance, and space technology.
  • Importance of the Portal: Dr. SK Chaudhari emphasized the usefulness of the portal in government programs promoting agroforestry and extension activities.

Government Policies and Initiatives

  • Union Budget Focus: The Union Budget prioritizes the promotion of agroforestry and private forestry.
  • Wasteland Transformation: India aims to transform approximately 16.96% of its Total Geographical Area (TGA) wastelands for productive use using geospatial technologies.

Global Alignment and Commitments

  • National Agroforestry Policy: India’s National Agroforestry Policy aims to enhance productivity, profitability, and sustainability.
  • Alignment with Global Goals: Agroforestry aligns with global commitments like the Paris Agreement, UN Sustainable Development Goals, and initiatives combating desertification.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Who launched the GROW report and portal?
    • A) Prime Minister of India
    • B) Prof Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog
    • C) Director of ICAR-Central Agroforestry Research Institute
    • D) Dr. SK Chaudhari
    Answer: B) Prof Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog
  2. What is the current coverage of agroforestry in India’s total geographical area?
    • A) 28.42 million hectares
    • B) 16.96%
    • C) 8.65%
    • D) 2030
    Answer: C) 8.65%
  3. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a potential benefit of promoting agroforestry?
    • A) Reducing wood imports
    • B) Carbon sequestration
    • C) Enhancing desertification
    • D) Addressing sub-optimal use of arable land
    Answer: C) Enhancing desertification
  4. What is the primary focus of the Union Budget with regard to agroforestry?
    • A) Promoting agroforestry and private forestry
    • B) Increasing wood imports
    • C) Enhancing carbon emissions
    • D) Investing in urban development
    Answer: A) Promoting agroforestry and private forestry
  5. Which global commitment does agroforestry align with?
    • A) Montreal Protocol
    • B) Paris Agreement
    • C) Kyoto Protocol
    • D) Rio Declaration
    Answer: B) Paris Agreement