Paragraph on Social Forestry of India

Here is your paragraph on social forestry of India:

Social forestry means the management and protection of the forests as well as afforestation of barren lands aimed at helping in environmental, social, and rural development as against the traditional objective of securing revenue.


It is aptly described as forestry of the people, by the people and for the people.

The main thrust of social forestry is to reduce pressure on the traditional forests areas by developing plantations of fuelwood, fodder and grasses. The term social forestry was used for the first time by the National Commission on Agriculture in 1976, to denote tree raising programmes to supply firewood, small timber and minor forest produce to rural population.

This commission divided social forestry into;

(i) Agro forestry,


(ii) Expansion forestry,

(iii) Rehabilitation of degraded and low grade forests and

(iv) Recreation forestry.

The programme was formally launched in 1978 and it became an integral part of the Sixth Plan in 1980. In the second Forestry Conference (1980) it was decided that social forestry scheme should be given priority over barren and waste land, community land and lands along the roads, railways and canals.

Agro forestry, community forestry, commercial farm forestry, non-commercial farm forestry and urban forestry are the main components of social forestry. Agro forestry involves the raising of trees and agricultural crops either on the same land or in close association in such a way that all land including the waste patches is put to good use.

This enables the farmer to get food, fodder, fuel, fruit and timber from his land. The land gives maximum production and provides employment to rural masses. Community forestry involves the raising of trees on public or community lands aimed at providing benefit to the community as a whole.

Although the plants and seedlings are provided by the forest department, the protection of plantations is primarily the responsibility of the community as a whole. India is second only to China in community forestry. Remarkable success has been achieved in community forestry in some major states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh.

Commercial farm forestry involves growing of trees in the fields in place of food and other agricultural crops. In this way, the farmers grow trees for direct commercial gain. This type of forestry has become very popular in Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and in some parts of south India.

Farmers in these areas grow eucalyptus, poplars, and casuarina in their land and sell them to paper, pulp, rayon and match industries and also use them for making packing cases and fuel. The state governments are encouraging this forestry in a big way.

Non-commercial farm forestry involves tree planting by farmers on their own land for their own use and not for sale. The land mainly used for this purpose includes margins of agricultural fields, wastelands and marginal lands which are not usually cultivated, grasslands and pastures and land around homes and cowsheds.

This type of forestry is practised in Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala and Karnataka for obtaining fuel, fodder and fruit. Urban forestry pertains to raising and management of trees on public and privately owned lands in and around urban centres. It includes green belts, roadside avenues, recreational parks, wildlife parks, etc. Its main objectives are reduction of environmental pollution, recreation and improving aesthetic values.

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