Pineapple Agroforestry Systems can Address Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

Source: PIB

What is the News?

According to a study, Pineapple-based agroforestry can be a sustainable alternative to jhum cultivation for North East India.

Background:
  • Jhum cultivation also called swidden agriculture is a dominant agricultural practice in the NorthEast Region.
  • Under this, the farming community slashes secondary forests on a predetermined location, burns the slash and cultivates the land for a limited number of years. 
  • The land is then left fallow and the farming community moves to the next location to repeat the process till they return back to the starting point. 
  • However, this practise has become unsustainable due to the reduced fallow cycle resulting in depletion in soil fertility, severe soil erosion and low agronomic productivity.
  • Hence, North East India and many south Asian countries are shifting to agroforestry and high-value cropping systems from traditional jhum practices.
  • But the researchers are looking for other agroforestry options that can provide twin solutions for climate change and biodiversity loss.
What is the solution the researchers have found?
  1. The researchers found that the Pineapple-based agroforestry(PAFS) can be a sustainable alternative to jhum cultivation for North East India. 
  2. This traditional practice can provide twin solutions for climate change and biodiversity loss.
What is Pineapple agroforestry systems (PAFS)?
  • Pineapple agroforestry systems (PAFS) is a dominant form of land use in the Indian Eastern Himalayas and other parts of Asia. It is mostly grown in association with multipurpose trees.
  • The ethnic ‘Hear’ Tribe in southern Assam have been cultivating pineapples for centuries. At present, they practice the indigenous Pineapple agroforestry systems for both home consumption and boosting economic benefit
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