SURYAPRAKASH S., AMJATH BABU T. S., RAVI B. M.
University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics, India
Agro-forestry has emerged as one of the prominent integrated farming approaches as it reduces the dependence on fast depleting forest stock for various biomass needs in developing countries. It can support short term as well as long-term goals of conservation and can provide local and global benefits. But to assess the efficacy and effectiveness of agroforestry, it is imperative to assess it's impact on the cropping pattern, household employment and income of farmers apart from assessing it's role in meeting biomass needs like fodder, fuel and timber. This paper shows the relative profitability as a major dimension of agroforestry practice. A probe into socio-economic factors that hinders or encourages the agroforestry is also carried out. Another dimension of this system is tree crop interactions, which can be synergistic or harmful but the success of any intercropping system depends on the balance of positive and negative interactions between the components. Quantification of these interactions in economic terms is attempted here. Technical, legal, marketing and financial needs of the farmers and their preferences for tree species for further planting were documented. This study was conducted in Karnataka State in South India. The results points out that there is a net income gain from cultivating trees on bunds of dry area crops even though a reduction in net income from the crops alone is observed. A discriminant function analysis of the socio-economic factors revealed that the land area, availability of subsidiary income and level of education were the most important factors that discriminated the practioners and non"=practioners of agroforestry.
Keywords: Agroforestry, socio-economics, tree-crop interactions