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Agro-forestry hit by lack of policy incentives: President

Posted on Feb 10 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 10 : Development of agro-forestry in India has been hampered by lack of policy incentives, President Pranab Mukherjee said Monday, noting that there was need of innovative models that encourage investment in the sector.

Inaugurating the world congress on agro-forestry here, the president said agro-forestry meets almost half of the total demand of 201 million tonnes of fuel wood in the country.

Agro-forestry generates 450 labour days per hectare annually without negating farm productivity or income, he noted.

"Despite the large spin-offs, agro-forestry can deliver. Its development is hampered by lack of policy incentives, inadequate knowledge dissemination, legal constraints and poor coordination among its beneficiary sectors," the president said.

He said inadequate investment, lack of suitable extension strategies and weak market linkages compound the woes of the sector.

"Rather than being discouraged by long gestation periods normally associated with agro-forestry projects, we need innovative models that encourage investment in this sector. Agro-forestry, as a promising sector, can no longer remain constricted to our tunnel vision," Mukherjee said.

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